Junior attack Jennifer VanderMeulen scored a key second-half goal to tie Johns Hopkins with 1:48 remaining, but the Harvard women's lacrosse team ultimately fell to the Blue Jays, 8-7.
On March 10, the Harvard women’s lacrosse team made history by going into overtime for a second straight game, the first such feat in the program’s existence.
One week later, it looked as if the Crimson was going to need extra time for the third straight game, drawing even with Johns Hopkins with just 98 seconds remaining.
But the Blue Jays struck with just 19 ticks left, securing an 8-7 win for Johns Hopkins Saturday afternoon at Homewood Field in Baltimore, Md.
The Crimson (2-3, 0-2 Ivy) staged a comeback in the game’s final minutes, battling back from a three-goal second-half deficit to pull even with 1:48 remaining. Junior Jennifer VanderMeulen netted the equalizer after strong ball movement resulted in Harvard finding the attacker open in front of the net.
Johns Hopkins took the ensuing draw control, and the Blue Jays (6-2) put the ball in the stick of sophomore midfielder Taylor D’Amore.
D’Amore waited for the clock to wind down and then attacked the goal, drawing a foul with less than 30 seconds remaining. When play resumed, D’Amore found Colleen McCaffrey open to the right of the net.
McCaffrey faked high and shot low, beating Crimson goalkeeper Kelly Weis to put Johns Hopkins up one, 8-7, with 19 seconds remaining.
The Blue Jays won the following draw control and ran out the clock, putting an end to Harvard’s comeback attempt.
“In the second half, we picked up our play, but it was just kind of too little too late,” said junior Micaela Cyr, who finished with one goal and one draw control. “We need to continue working on putting a full game together.”
Four other Crimson players found the back of the net on Saturday, with juniors Danielle Tetreault and Nina Kucharczyk contributing two goals apiece.
Kucharczyk, who entered Saturday’s contest scoreless on the season, provided a crucial spark off the bench for the Crimson. After the Crimson fell behind, 5-2, with 5:37 to play in the first half, the junior helped bring Harvard back. She notched her first goal off a free-position shot with 25:25 to play in the second, bringing the Crimson within one, 5-4.
“That got everybody going,” tri-captain Ellen Gleason said.
Johns Hopkins responded with back-to-back scores from Sammy Cermack and Sarah Taylor to extend its lead to three, 7-4, with 13:47 to go.
After the Crimson struggled to find the net over the next seven minutes of play, Cyr scored off a pass from Tetreault to bring Harvard within two.
Kucharczyk followed suit 2:03 later with her second score of the game.