The third time taking on a ranked opponent was not the charm for the Harvard women’s lacrosse team, as the squad dropped its latest decision to No. 3 Syracuse.
The Crimson (3-3, 1-1 Ivy) fell back down to .500 with a 17-4 loss to the Orange (8-1, 2-1 ACC) Tuesday night at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.
Despite a strong game from freshman attacker Megan Hennessey, who had two goals and four draw controls, Harvard could not keep up with Syracuse’s fast paced offense.
Tuesday marked the fifth game out of six for the Crimson when a freshman has been among the leading scorers in the contest. Freshman attacker Marisa Romeo currently leads Harvard with 17 goals on the season, while Hennessey and sophomore attacker Alexis Nicolia are tied for second with nine.
The scoring started early for the Orange, as the team notched five unanswered goals before the Crimson finally broke through with a goal by Nicolia on an assist from sophomore attacker Meghan Bauer.
The only other goal in the opening half for Harvard came from the stick of junior midfielder Sophia Capone with the aid of Romeo.
On the defensive side of the ball, sophomore keeper Kelly Weis stopped 12 of Syracuse’s 29 shots on goal, her second-highest total of the season. Weis also led the team in ground balls with three on the night.
Overall, the Orange had the advantage in almost every category, tallying more ground balls and draw controls and committing fewer turnovers than the Crimson while taking 24 more shots.
On free position shots, Syracuse converted four of 11 tries while Harvard did not have an opportunity to go one-on-one with the keeper.
In the first half, the Crimson surrendered ten goals but came back after halftime and kept the number below double-digits while notching another two goals of its own.
The Orange offense had scoring come from throughout its lineup. Junior attacker Devon Collins led Syracuse with three goals, and three other Orange players tallied multiple scores during the match. Overall, 12 different players scored on the night.
Goal keeping for Syracuse was split between senior Alyssa Costantino, who was awarded the win, and junior Kelsey Richardson. The two each spent a half in net, and each surrendered two goals. Combined, the two goalies were able to stop 11 of Harvard’s 13 shots.
The loss makes the Crimson now 0-3 against top-20 teams, with defeats earlier in the year having come against No. 10 Stanford and No. 15 Penn.
—Staff writer Ariel Smolik-Valles can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.