Harvard field hockey suffered two tough one-goal losses this weekend during the Sheraton Catamount Classic at Moulton Winder Field in Burlington, Vt. The Crimson (2-2) was defeated by Maine (4-2), 2-1, on Saturday and then dropped a 1-0 double-overtime decision to Vermont (3-3) yesterday. Sophomore goaltender Cynthia Tassopoulos, who totaled 11 saves in two games, and junior co-captain Carly Dickson were named to the all-tournament team.
“It was our first set of away games,” sophomore Kim Goh said, “[and] having it back-to-back was a challenge.”
VERMONT 1, HARVARD 0 (2OT)
The Catamounts scored in the 91st minute of play yesterday afternoon to steal the victory from Harvard. Vermont broke through the tenacious Crimson defense with a long through pass, and Brittanie Booker sent the ball into the back of the net for the win.
“It was a heartbreaker,” Goh said. “To go to double overtime, it all comes down to the seconds. Everyone did their part and went 100 percent. We had a little bit of a breakdown, and they got one in.”
In a game dominated by great defense, Harvard held the edge in ball control and shots taken. The Crimson outshot the Catamounts, 17-11, but could not turn those opportunities into points—due in part to the performance of Vermont goaltender Brooke Crane.
“We made a lot of changes [after Saturday’s game],” Goh said. “We did a lot of things really well, like pressuring the ball hard and high up the field so we’d have a lot of counterattack opportunities. In the end, we had a little trouble executing when it came down to putting the ball in the back of the cage.”
Senior Chloe Keating and Dickson registered six and four shots, respectively.
“We really did leave everything we had out on the field though, and our team is very proud of each other,” sophomore Emma Keller said. “We definitely improved our play from [Saturday] against UMaine, so it was quite disappointing not coming out with a win.”
MAINE 2, HARVARD 1
Harvard lost its tourney opener on Saturday afternoon to a persistent Maine team that overcame the Crimson defense in the final 10 minutes to seal the game. The Black Bears took the lead in the second half and never looked back, and despite Harvard’s best efforts to equalize, Maine came away with a win.
“We played a much stronger team in Maine,” Tassopoulos said. “We were certainly a little hesitant at the beginning, but we got a little more comfortable as the game went on, [and] for the rest of the game, we really tried to stay neck-to-neck with them.”
Even though the Crimson scored first in each of its first two games, the Black Bears took the early lead in the eighth minute when Kelly Newton tipped in a rebound off a long shot off the stick of Stephanie Gardiner.
It wasn’t long before Harvard equalized with a scramble in front of the net, with freshman Rachael Rosenfeld ultimately putting the ball into the cage. It was the freshman’s first career goal, and she was assisted by Keating, marking the 10th point of the young season for the senior standout.
The game settled down into a defensive battle between the two teams. Both teams made momentum-stopping interceptions, and neither team could capitalize on its breakaway chances. Tassopoulos set the tone for the defense with eight saves.
“We knew that they were a team that was very aggressive,” Tassopoulos said. “So we tried to put early pressure on them and stop them before they could even get shots off.”
The physical nature of the game wore down Harvard’s energy, and this contributed to the Crimson’s inability to score in the second half.
After Maine’s Michelle Niedziejko scored with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game, Harvard put together several well-played series but could not find the back of the net.
“The last seven minutes,” Rosenfeld said, “our pressing was really good and on point, and that should’ve been [our mindset] for the entire game.”
—Staff writer James Yu can be reached at email@example.com.
Crimson To Play in Catamount TourneyAfter taking the first two games of the season, Harvard field hockey looks to carry its preconference-play success into the weekend in the Sheraton Catamount Classic.
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