The Harvard field hockey team pushed its winning streak to four games this weekend with a 2-0 shutout at Holy Cross on Friday and a 3-2 home win against Pacific yesterday afternoon.
Friday’s victory was junior goaltender Kylie Stone’s first career shutout, and all five goals over the weekend came from different Crimson players.
Junior Kayla Romanelli and freshman Maggie McVeigh assisted each other’s goals against Holy Cross, tallying a goal and an assist each.
Harvard will put its winning streak on the line on Wednesday at No. 3 Connecticut. The Crimson challenges the Huskies at 7 p.m. in Storrs, Conn. Led by senior standout Lizzy Peijs, the Huskies are 7-1.
HARVARD 3, PACIFIC 2
The Crimson (4-1) fought off a two-goal run by Pacific (1-6) yesterday afternoon at Jordan Field, winning the game, 3-2.
Harvard took control of the game early, notching two goals while outshooting the Tigers, 10-6, in the first half.
Romanelli knocked in the first score off an assist from freshman Maggie McVeigh. It was soon followed by a penalty-corner score by captain Devon Shapiro, and the Crimson pushed its lead to 2-0.
Penalty corners played a large role in Harvard’s dominance of the first half. Seven penalty shots were awarded to the Crimson, all of which came in the first period, giving a necessary boost in scoring opportunities.
However, the goal that would have made the game 3-0 in Harvard’s favor was called off by the referees for being too high, sparking a Pacific scoring run that made the game too close for comfort for the Crimson.
“It looked like we could have been up 3-0, and then all of a sudden it was 2-1,” said Harvard coach Sue Caples. “2-1 is a really dangerous score, and we let them back in the game at the end of the half.”
It didn’t take long after the second period started for the Tigers to make the score even more dangerous, as Pacific forward Kedibone Leubane put in an unassisted goal.
“We lost momentum in the second half, and Pacific really capitalized on that,” said Shapiro.
With no penalty corners in the second period, the Crimson needed other opportunities to get shots in.
“We’re capable of getting shots in from the field of play,” Caples said. “Those are goals that are being scored from assists, and that’s a big improvement from last year.”
The Romanelli-McVeigh tandem struck again 13 minutes into the half, this time with Romanelli assisting McVeigh, who notched her first career goal.
Despite the 5-4 shot advantage held by the Tigers in the second half, the Crimson was able to hold Pacific scoreless for the last 20 minutes to secure the win.
HARVARD 2, HOLY CROSS 0
When Harvard visited Holy Cross on Friday night, the tam knew it would be a tough game. The Crimson was able to shut out the Crusaders, 2-0, but the game was by no means a one-way contest.
“It was a battle,” said Shapiro. “It was very back-and-forth, and it was a much closer game than it seems from the score.”
At the end of the first period, both teams were scoreless despite Harvard’s 5-1 shot advantage for the half.
It didn’t take long, however, for the Crimson and Holy Cross (2-5) to come out swinging, as both teams knocked five shots at the opposing net.
The Crusaders’ strong effort was thwarted by junior Crimson goalie Kylie Stone, who ended up with six saves for the night.
“Kylie played great,” Caples said. “We pressed up a little too much and gave them a few breakaways, but we possessed the ball well. We did a much better job in the second half creating attack instead of just passing the ball around the backfield.”
By eight minutes into the half, junior forward Tami Jafar and sophomore midfielder Kristin Bannon had both struck gold for the Crimson off penalty corners, and it was all defense from there on out.
—Staff writer Paul T. Hedrick can be reached at email@example.com.