First-game jitters were not much of an issue for the Harvard women’s lacrosse team’s freshman class.
In its first collegiate game, the class of 2013 netted all 10 of the Crimson’s goals, as Harvard (1-0) won its season opener on the road at UMass (2-3), 10-8.
“It was great to go there and get the win,” junior Sam McMahon said. “I’m glad that [the freshmen’s] first game in a Harvard uniform was a win.”
With the Minutewomen’s defensive attention focused on Crimson junior Jess Halpern—last season’s Ivy League leader in goals per game—other members of the team were freed up for scoring opportunities.
The team’s freshmen were the biggest beneficiaries.
“Any team would be stupid to not shut her off,” freshman Jennifer VanderMeulen said. “Jess could barely touch the ball. We knew that Jess was going to be face-guarded. I feel like [us] freshmen took it upon ourselves to help her.”
And help her they did.
Classmate Alexis Dal Col tallied five goals on eight shots, while VanderMeulen added four scores, including the game-winner. Rounding out the scoring for the Crimson was rookie Danielle Tetreault, who finished with one score on two shots.
“Everyone else stepped up to the plate,” McMahon said.
Harvard fell behind in the game’s early minutes, but Dal Col and VanderMeulen each netter their first career goals in under 10 minutes of play to put the Crimson on top, 2-1.
Harvard’s lead would grow throughout the half.
With under a minute to play in the first frame, VanderMeulen took the ball herself and made her way to the goal, where she was able to put the ball past the Minutewomen’s goalkeeper to score her third goal of the game and give the Crimsona 6-4 lead heading into the break.
Dal Col struck first to start the second, and suddenly Harvard found itself up by three with less than 25 minutes to play.
But UMass would not give up easily, responding with three-straight tallies in less than 10 minutes of play to even the score at seven.
“We kind of relaxed a little bit,” VanderMeulen said. “We didn’t win as many draw controls, and UMass was able to take advantage of it.”