The Harvard women’s lacrosse team expected its game against Brown to be close, but had no idea just how close it would be.
The Crimson (5-11, 2-5 Ivy) defeated Brown (4-11, 1-6 Ivy) by a score of 12-11 when junior attack Caroline Simmons scored off of a free position shot with only 28 seconds remaining last night on Stevenson Field.
Harvard had gone down early in the game as the Bears scored three goals in the first ten minutes to seize the lead.
The deficit boded ill for the Crimson, as this season’s team has too often allowed the opposition to take the lead on early runs.
“I think we just got off to sort of a slow start,” junior attack Caroline Simmons said. “Our coaches called a time out, got us fired up, got our heads back in the game and we got our act together.”
Harvard was further motivated by a desire to win for senior captain Perry Barlow and head coach Sarah Nelson. The game was the last of Barlow’s career for the Crimson, while Nelson had just announced Monday that she would be leaving after the season to start a family. in Virginia
Team-leading scorer junior attack Kaitlin Martin, junior midfielder Jacqueline Hehir, and junior attack Tara Schoen all retaliated for Harvard with a goal each, tying the game at three-all.
The first fifteen minutes set the tone for the first three quarters of the game. Brown would take a several-goal lead, then the Crimson would come back to tie the score.
Freshman attack Sara Flood scored unassisted for the last goal of the half, bringing the Crimson within one in a 6-5 deficit.
“It was definitely just a really intense, close game the whole time,” Simmons said. “It was back and forth, which made it really exciting and really nerve-wracking at times.”
When play resumed, sophomore midfielder Sarah Bancroft notched one for Harvard to tie the game at sixes.
Midfielder Kelly Robinson and junior midfielder Mimi DeTolla each scored for Brown, but two goals from Schoen and one each from Flood and Simmons put the Crimson up 10-8. The Bears would never lead again.
Harvard’s greater success scoring came as a result of greater success in the draws. The Crimson won only five of 12 draws in the first half, but won 10 of 13 in the second and the extra possessions paid off.
Brown refused to give up, as Biros notched her fourth goal of the game and fifth of the season. Midfielder Krystina DeLuca scored as well to tie the game at ten.
Free position shots meant everything to Harvard in the final minutes. Schoen scored her fifth of the game off a free position shot, before the Bears’ DeTolla tied the game for the last time. Finally, Simmons drew a foul with only 28 seconds remaining in the contest.
“I didn’t really get emotional until the last minute,” Barlow said. “But there was nobody in this world I would rather have take the ball [than Simmons]. She’s always so poised under pressure.”
Simmons successfully aimed her free position shot to the right side of the goal and gave the Crimson the 12-11 victory.
The win put a joyous exclamation mark on the season for Harvard, capping off a period in which the Crimson won 3 of 4 games.
—Staff writer Tyler D. Sipprelle can be reached at email@example.com.