The Harvard women’s lacrosse team was 174 seconds away from snapping its 11-year losing streak against No. 9/10 Penn.
With 2:54 to play in Saturday’s conference matchup at the Quakers’ Franklin Field, junior Danielle Tetreault found the back of the net off a free-position shot to give the Crimson a 12-11 lead.
But Harvard couldn’t hang on. With 1:06 to go in regulation, Penn’s Caroline Bunting evened the score at 12 with her fourth goal of the contest, sending the game to overtime. The Quakers struck sixteen seconds into the extra period to their first lead in more than 50 minutes of play and didn’t give it up, claiming a 14-13 win.
“Not meaning to sound dramatic, but that was probably one of the most disappointing results I can remember,” co-captain Melanie Baskind said.
The loss drops the Crimson (2-2, 0-2 Ivy), which entered the season ranked No. 19 in the country, into a tie with Columbia for last place in the Ancient Eight standings.
Tetreault and junior Micaela Cyr finished with three goals apiece while co-captain Melanie Baskind led Harvard with a season-high four goals. Baskind’s final score with 16:23 to play gave the Crimson its largest lead of the afternoon, 10-5.
But after being held to five goals in the first 45 minutes of play, the Quakers offense hit its stride, responding with four goals in a five-minute stretch,
Tetreault stopped the bleeding with a free-position goal with 7:57, but Bunting and Erin Brennan answered with back-to-back scores to even the score at 11 with 5:55 to go.
Tetreault, who scored the game-winner for the Crimson in its double-overtime victory over James Madison on Tuesday, came up in the clutch once again, giving the Crimson a 12-11 lead with her third score of the afternoon.
Harvard appeared to be in the driver’s seat, claiming the ensuing draw control. But a Crimson turnover with 2:43 to go gave the Quakers (3-2, 1-0) another shot. Penn’s Taylor Foussadier picked up the loose ball and Bunting put away the equalizer 1:37 later.
The Quakers had two more opportunities to find the net before the end of regulation, but Courtney Tomchik’s shot with 10 seconds to play sailed high and Brennan’s attempt at the buzzer was turned away by Harvard keeper Kelly Weiss.
The Quakers got on the board first in overtime, as Brennan beat the Crimson’s rookie goalkeeper.
The game appeared headed to a second overtime when Harvard senior Jess Halpern evened the score at 13 with 1:20 to go. But the Quakers weren’t done, as Penn’s Maddie Polawksi pulled down the ensuing draw control.
Penn milked the clock until less than 30 seconds remained when Tomchik attacked the net. The sophomore finished an unassisted score with 24 seconds to go to put the Quakers ahead, 14-13.
Bunting won the game’s final draw control, and Penn ran out the clock to capture its first Ivy victory.
Bunting, Tomchik, and Brennan finished with 11 of the Quakers’ 14 scores. Bunting and Tomchik notched four apiece while Brennan, a unanimous first-team All-Ivy selection in 2011, scored three goals and an assist.
“They’re program is changing,” Baskind said. “Historically, Penn has taken a lot of pride in its defense…. You’re seeing other teams score more against them this year, but they’re scoring a lot more goals themselves. They’re dangerous on the attack.”
—Staff writer Martin Kessler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org