Sophomore Noel Painter, shown here in earlier action, and the Harvard field hockey team bounced back from five straight losses to come out on top of non-conference opponent Bryant, 4-1, Monday night.
The Harvard field hockey team (2-5, 0-2 Ivy) ended its five-game losing streak Monday night, beating Bryant (2-7) and scoring the most goals in a single game this season.
“We definitely were more focused before our game and we came out with a purpose,” sophomore forward Noel Painter said. “We really needed this win. We lost five in a row and we really needed to break that in order to get more momentum going into more Ivy League games.”
Although the final score was 4-1, the game didn’t start out in the Crimson’s favor.
With just 7:55 minutes into the first half, the Bulldogs’ freshman middle Michelle Fallon dribbled into the circle and scored unassisted into the left side of the goal.
“We should be able to bring our type of game, which in the first 10 minutes didn’t happen,” Harvard coach Tjerk van Herwaarden said. “But fortunately that goal woke us up a bit and allowed us to get a little more into our swing and we were able to get the goals back.”
Playing mostly on Bryant’s defensive end, the home team drew three penalties and attempted six shots before one finally went in.
Sophomore midfielder Caitlin Rea ripped a long shot from the top of the circle off of a penalty and scored the Crimson’s first goal of the game at 22:29. Painter assisted on the play.
Three minutes later, senior forward Emma Keller shot the ball and Painter tipped it in for her first goal of the game.
Harvard also outshot the Bulldogs, 19-11.
“We’ve been working on [creating scoring opportunities] for quite a while now,” Herwaarden said. “Today we finally were more controlling over the whole entire game going in forward motion to get enough attacking threat towards the circle while maintaining enough defensive control in our backfield.”
The Crimson maintained its defense with the help of captain goaltender Cynthia Tassopoulous, who saved two crucial shots towards the end of the first half.
In the last three minutes before the whistle blew for half, sophomore forward Kaitlyn Boudah slapped a hard shot past junior forward Rachael Rosenfeld who reverse tipped the ball into the back of the net to seal Harvard’s first half advantage, 3-1.
“It was a team performance and it’s something we have been working hard for in the last couple of weeks,” Herwaarden said. “[I’m] happy for the players, as their hard work is paying off.”
Coming out of the halftime break with energy, Painter chased down a long ball and passed it back to her teammates just before it would have gone out of bounds.
While it didn’t result in a goal, the play helped maintain momentum in Harvard’s favor.