Freshman Sarah Bancroft, shown here in earlier action, scored two of Harvard’s five goals during the game. Her score at 27:43 snapped a streak of seven straight goals by Dartmouth, but the damage had already been done.
Under the lights of Jordan Field on a warm evening, the Harvard women’s lacrosse team started off hot against No. 14 Dartmouth.
Unfortunately, both the temperature and the Crimson (3-10, 1-3 Ivy) cooled down as the Big Green rattled off seven straight goals in a 11-5 victory.
Following a defensive battle in the first half, Dartmouth (7-4, 3-2 Ivy) poured on the goals in the decisive second, outscoring Harvard 8-2 in the final 30 minutes.
“We came out really hard in the first half,” freshman attacker Kaitlin Martin said. “Dartmouth is a top-15 team, and we tied them 3-3 [in the first half].”
“In the second half, we just couldn’t hold it together,” she added.
Dartmouth got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead just 4:54 into the game.
But Harvard battled back. Martin tied the game at one with 14:37 left, and freshman midfielder Sarah Bancroft gave the Crimson a 2-1 lead just 44 seconds later when a pass from sophomore attacker Caroline Simmons found her in front of the net.
The Harvard defense held the Big Green scoreless for 21 minutes before Dartmouth matched the Crimson at two on a goal from Kristen Zimmer.
Martin broke the tie with 2:15 remaining in the half, slithering past two defenders and adding her second goal of the night. The score gave Harvard a 3-2 lead.
“[Kaitlin] had a great game,” Harvard coach Sarah Nelson ’94 said. “She matched up really well against them today. We’re really pleased with her.”
Looking to take a one-goal lead into the half, the Crimson made its first big mistake on defense, allowing Dartmouth’s Sarah Szefi to pick up a ground ball and score with just 9.9 seconds remaining. Instead of holding the lead, Harvard now found itself tied at halftime.
To start the second half, it looked like stellar defensive play on both sides would continue as Harvard goaltender Kathryn Tylander began the half with five straight saves, thwarting every Big Green attempt.
Dartmouth kept shooting though, breaking the tie on a free-position shot from Annie Leibovitz at 4:39, and added another goal at 7:26 when Casey Hazel put it past Tylander to take a 5-3 lead.
Still in the hunt, the Crimson put a goal past Big Green goaltender Devon Wills, seemingly pulling Harvard within one.
However, the goal was waved off due to an earlier Dartmouth foul. The Crimson was given a free position shot but was unable to capitalize, and the Big Green took possession.
“When that was waved off, that was tough,” Nelson noted. “That would have been a crucial goal.”
With the momentum back in its hands, Dartmouth broke the game open when Zimmer and Szefi each notched goals within 33 seconds of each other, giving the Big Green a 7-3 lead with 13:23 remaining.
Dartmouth’s Jen Pittman added another goal, and the Big Green capped its 7-0 run and took a 9-3 lead with 2:37 left as Kristen Barry tallied her second of three goals on the evening.
Harvard finally stopped the bleeding and ended its 30-minute scoring drought when Bancroft added her second goal with 2:17 to play. Sophomore attacker Tara Schoen pulled the Crimson to within four with 53 seconds remaining off a pass from junior Margaret Yellot.
But the Big Green onslaught would not let up, as Dartmouth added two more goals in a span of eight seconds in the game’s final minute to round out the scoring.
“We have a problem that we play 30 minutes,” Martin said. “We can’t play that whole 60 minutes.”
“We had a great first half,” Nelson said. “But—it was the same thing against Princeton—a great first half and not being able to show up again in the second half.”
Harvard will head to New York this weekend to take on last-place Columbia.
“We are looking forward to that game,” Martin said. “It’s a game we have got to win in order to have any spot in the Ivy League.”