The Harvard women’s lacrosse team finished its roller coaster of a season with a bang.
The Crimson, ending with a 6-10 overall record (2-5 Ivy), waited until only one second remained in the final game of its season to pull out its last win, as freshman Katie Doherty found the back of the net for a 9-8 victory over Boston College.
“We definitely improved throughout the season, and I am looking forward to picking up where we left off next fall,” freshman attacker Tyler Petropulos said.
An early surge for Harvard opened the campaign with confidence, as the Crimson beat Holy Cross and Quinnipiac in two of its first three games. But Harvard faced some tough luck, falling to UMass by only one goal in the last minutes and New Hampshire in overtime.
Despite the rough patch that Harvard hit midseason with a five-game losing streak, the Crimson players held their heads up and continued to push through until the last minutes of their season.
“One of our strengths was not giving up by the end of the season,” junior tri-captain Sara Flood said. “By the last few games, we knew we wouldn’t make it to the tournament, but we still fought for some wins.”
Harvard’s final Ivy League game against nationally-ranked Cornell showed the true character of the Crimson.
Harvard came out as a formidable opponent, proving that its ranking and record were not a true reflection of its talent and beating the Big Red, 11-7.
“Our game against Cornell was definitely our most memorable game of the season,” Petropulos said. “We came together and really played like a team. Plus, we knocked off a ranked opponent, which was the best way to close out our Ivy League schedule.”
“We played hard for 60 minutes and everyone did their job,” Flood said. “At the end of the game, you could see in everyone’s faces how good it felt to just get the job done, especially against an Ivy competitor.”
Harvard’s season was marked by impressive individual performances. Sophomore Jess Halpern—who led the Crimson in goals this season with 46—and Petropulos were named to the women’s lacrosse All-Ivy League team.
“As someone new to this team, the best thing about our season is knowing that we are only going to get better and more competitive next year.” Petropulos said.
Harvard’s team, consisting of only 19 players this spring, relied on each and every member to make an impact on the field.
Senior Kaitlin Martin was a close runner-up behind Halpern in the goal count, tallying 39. Flood scored 21 goals alongside her 16 assists this season. Junior Delia Pais led the defense throughout the season, picking up 29 ground balls this spring.
“We are just going to keep chipping away and focusing on the little things, which we hope will get us to the next level,” Petropulos said.
Overall, Harvard was not pleased with its record, but the Crimson is optimistic about its future. With a powerful incoming class and a strong backbone of players that remain, Harvard may be a fearsome opponent in the upcoming years.
“Next year we have nine solid freshmen coming in,” Flood said. “I think we need to get right to work when we get back to school so that we can be as prepared as possible come Feb. 1. During season I think we have to remember how important every single game is and focus on practice every day in order to get the job done come game time.”
—Staff writer Katie Kuzma can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.