Junior co-captain and driver Vivian Liao was instrumental in Harvard’s win against Slippery Rock, netting four scores and drawing two ejections. But the Crimson managed just a seventh-place finish after dropping close contests to Wagner and Bucknell to op
Serving as hosts to the ECAC Championships this weekend, Harvard went 1-2 to finish in seventh place.
Princeton won the tournament in a close 7-6 victory over Ivy rival Brown. After dropping both contests on Saturday, the Crimson (4-5) avoided a last-place finish with a 11-5 win against Slippery Rock yesterday morning.
For Harvard, the weekend was characterized by outstanding goaltending and defense paired with an inconsistent offense whose shots often went wide, high, or short.
HARVARD 11, SLIPPERY ROCK 5
In its last game of the weekend, Harvard finally found some offensive firepower, as the Crimson exploded for 11 goals—nine of which came in the second half.
Leading the charge was junior co-captain Vivian Liao with four goals, while fellow junior co-captain Lauren Snyder pitched in three. Sophomore Devon MacLaughlin, who scored multiple times in each of Harvard’s games this weekend, added two. Junior Cassandra Forsyth and freshmen Kelly Peeler netted one apiece.
Coming out of half time tied at 2, the Crimson starting moving the ball and shooting with a greater sense of urgency.
“We were shook up from being so close to a team we should have been beating,” Liao said. “It was like, now that we are awake we should probably start putting goals away.”
Thanks to a set offense that started to click and shots that started to fall, Harvard ran away with the win.
“We misfired a little bit on the offensive end in the first half,” Crimson coach Erik Farrar said, “but then it was just a question of stepping on the gas.”
WAGNER 6, HARVARD 4
In its second game of the day, Harvard started off very slowly. Wagner took advantage of the unprepared Crimson squad by tallying three goals in just the first two minutes of action.
Harvard eventually got going and held the Seahawks to three goals over the next 29 minutes. In the fourth quarter, freshman Kathryn Bilder intercepted a Wagner pass, went the length of the pool, and managed to slip in a goal with two Seahawk defenders closing in on her.
Bilder’s goal brought the Crimson within two, but Harvard did not score again, as Wagner escaped with the win.
“Our 6-on-5 was a disaster against Wagner,” Farrar said. “It is very rare to win a game when you go 1-for-8 on your 6-on-5.”
MacLaughlin had two goals, and Snyder netted Harvard’s fourth score.
Freshmen Ariel Delgado took a turn between the pipes and tallied 11 saves.
BUCKNELL 6, HARVARD 5
Down 5-4 with less than three minutes to play, Harvard got the ball in front of the Bucknell cage. The Crimson patiently used up most of the shot clock before Liao saw an opportunity that she liked. Liao fired a quick pass to freshman Roxanne Pinto, who was waiting on the weak side with an open look at the net and easily blasted home the tying goal.
The Bison, however, had the last word. Less than a minute later, a Bucknell player took off on a breakaway and placed a shot just outside the reach of sophomore goalie Nicola Perlman for the game-winning score.
After going down 2-1 early in the game, the Crimson found its offensive rhythm, scoring three goals in the final two and half minutes of the first period.
But Harvard could not carry that momentum through the break and did not score again until Pinto’s fourth-quarter goal.
Harvard was able to stay in contention thanks in large part to Perlman, who turned away repeated one-on-none chances and recorded 13 saves on the afternoon.
“Nicky had some desperate stops that really kept us in the game,” Farrar said.
—Staff writer Julia R. Senior can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.