The Harvard women’s lacrosse team appeared to have made strides after its thrilling 14-12 win last Wednesday at Connecticut, but the Crimson (3-4) could not carry its momentum over to No. 12 Boston University’s Nickerson Field yesterday, falling to the Terriers (5-3), 17-12. BU’s McKinley Curro found the back of the net three times within the first five minutes of the game, and the Terriers never looked back.
After Curro’s flurry of goals, Harvard answered with two tallies of its own—one each by freshman Tyler Petropulous and senior Kaitlin Martin—to bring the Crimson within one. After BU expanded its lead to 4-2, Harvard again cut the Terriers’ lead to just a goal, on a score by junior tri-captain Sara Flood. But Harvard was never able to close further on BU’s lead— the Terriers outshot the Crimson 18-10 in the first half and went into intermission up, 8-4.
According to sophomore Jess Halpern, the Crimson was too tentative on offense in the first half. “We were not challenging the goal enough, making too many careless mistakes and not capitalizing on opportunities,” she said.
“[At halftime] Coach told us we needed to be smarter, challenge the goal and believe in ourselves,” Halpern added.
Halpern took her coach’s advice to heart and had a prolific second frame. The sophomore scored all five of her goals in the final period, including three of Harvard’s first four scores of the half.
Yet even Halpern’s performance, as well as Petropulous’ four goals and one assist, could not propel Harvard over the twelth-ranked Terriers. BU’s Sarah Dalton and Curro finished the contest with five goals apiece, and in the process Dalton—a senior All-American—broke her school’s career-scoring record with her 191st goal.
Riding the stellar performances of its scoring leaders, the Terriers cruised to a 17-12 win.
“Whenever you play a ranked team, it is expected that they will be fast and athletic,” Flood said. “Even if we went down, we were going to play for the full sixty minutes.”
“The score doesn’t necessarily reflect it, but we were ready to go,” she added.
In preparation for the Crimson’s upcoming games, both Flood and Halpern agree that the team must work on its defense structure to be successful. Flood also believes that it is crucial for the team to cut down on its unforced turnovers, while Halpern believes the Crimson must work on its draw controls. In the BU contest, Harvard controlled only ten of the 31 draws of the game.
Harvard heads to Albany on Wednesday for the final game of its three game road trip, before returning to Cambridge for a three-game home stand that includes Ivy rivals Yale and Penn.