The sun was not the only thing shining this weekend.
The Harvard women’s lacrosse team (2-1) radiated Saturday afternoon on Cumnock Turf, defeating Quinnipiac, 15-10. Seven different Crimson players contributed to the scoreboard, with five of them recording multiple point efforts.
Harvard tallied a 13-10 win over the Bobcats (1-1) last season, and the Crimson now leads the series 5-1 against Quinnipiac.
“We were really happy with the win,” tri-captain Shannon Flynn said. “We still have a ways to go but it was a really big step up from our last two games.”
Harvard took it to the Bobcats from the first whistle. Sophomore Jess Halpern opened it up for the Crimson with a goal in the first five minutes of the game, off an assist from junior tri-captain Sara Flood. Flood turned around to score two more goals for Harvard, both within the first ten minutes of the game, bringing the score to 3-0.
Flood led the Crimson with a career-high seven points against Quinnipiac, scoring four goals and dishing out three assists.
The Bobcats’ Nicole Fiore snuck her first of three goals past Harvard with 15 minutes remaining in the half. But the Crimson answered back with four straight goals in five minutes, each tallied by a different player.
Flood, tri-captain Sarah Bancroft, Halpern, and freshman Tyler Petropulous each recorded a goal in this stretch, bringing Harvard’s lead to a commanding 7-1.
“We’ve been talking about how if you lose the ball, you get it back,” sophomore defender Sam McMahon said. “At one point in the second half, a [Quinnipiac] player checked the ball away from [Halpern] and then she hunted her down, got the ball back, and turned around to score. That really made a stand in the game.”
Despite the Crimson’s strength at the start of the match, the Bobcats were able to put in two more goals before the end of the half. Both Quinnipiac goals were scored off free position shots in the final ten minutes of the half, which ended with a score of 7-3.
However, Harvard regained its momentum as the new half started. Freshman Chelsey Bowman, Flynn and Halpern each recorded a goal for the Crimson.
Bowman’s one-timer goal, off a long, outside pass from Bancroft, was crucial in lifting the energy back up for Harvard.
These goals brought the Crimson to its highest point differential of the game at 10-3, but 20 minutes still remained on the clock.
The Bobcats promptly responded to the goal deficit, putting three in the back of the net within two minutes to close the gap to 10-6.
Shortly after the Quinnipiac resurgence, the Crimson offense was back at the Bobcats’ net. Senior Kaitlin Martin and Petropulous added two more tallies for Harvard, extending the lead to 12-6.
Petropulous was key in the victory over Quinnipiac, recording two goals, an assist, and dominating in the draw controls.
“We did a really good job with draw controls, which is always critical to the game,” Flynn said. “[Petropulous] had seven draw controls, which was huge for us.”
The Bobcats were not able to recover after the Crimson’s final run. They managed to tally four more scores against Harvard, but never closed the deficit to less than four goals.
Martin found the back of the net two more times in the final 10 minutes, and Flood finished it off with her fourth goal of the game, and 15th for the Crimson.
Freshman Kerry Clark tallied her second win of the season in net, with 10 saves for Harvard.
This game also marked the first goal of the season for Flynn and Bancroft, and the first score of Bowman’s career.
The Crimson is now focused on two big games this upcoming week against No. 15 University of New Hampshire on Wednesday and Ivy League opponent Brown on Saturday.
“Since the UMass game, when we lost, we’ve really focused on hustling and doing the little things right,” McMahon said. “It definitely showed in the first half, getting all the draw controls and ground balls. We also made a stand on defense and really sped up the offense. Things are going well and we’ll continue to work at it.”