It is not very often that one will find a lacrosse game in which a team won by more than tripling its opponent’s score.
That is exactly what the Harvard women’s lacrosse team did Wednesday night against Holy Cross, winning 16-5, which was the team’s first double digit win of the year.
The Crimson (7-4, 3-1 Ivy) took a break from conference play with a mid-week match up against the Crusaders (5-10, 3-3 Patriot League) in Worcester. The first half was when Harvard solidified its offense, scoring 10 goals in the opening 30 minutes of play, while holding Holy Cross to only one scoring drive.
During the first half the scoring was spread throughout the lineup, led by freshman attacker Marisa Romeo with three goals. Romeo leads the team in goals on the season with 37 and 43 points overall. After scoring just one goal in last week’s matchup against Brown, Romeo proved her offensive ability against the Crusaders.
Sophomore attacker Audrey Todd scored three goals in the game, extending her streak of hat tricks to three games. Todd is currently the second highest scorer on the team with 17 goals on the season. Todd also picked up two ground balls and six draw controls for the Crimson.
Other offensive threats included sophomore attacker Alexis Nicolia, who had three goals on the night as well as freshman midfielder Megan Hennessey and senior co-captain Kyleigh Keating who each had two goals in the game. Sophomore attacker Megan Bauer and freshman attacker Marina Burke each added a goal to help solidify the lead.
During the second half of play Harvard allowed Holy Cross to score four times. The Crimson made up for those goals allowed by answering each time the Crusaders got a shot past sophomore goalie Kelly Weis.
Two out of Holy Cross’s four second half goals came on free position shots, with the team converting two of its six opportunities from behind the arc. For Harvard, the team converted five of eight free position opportunities, three of which came from Romeo. The Crimson was perfect on clears, going 12-for-12 in the category as opposed to the Crusaders’ 9-10.
One of the aspects of the game the Harvard has been looking to work on during the past couple of games has been draw controls. Wednesday night’s game showed great improvement in that category, with the team winning 16 of the 24 possible draws, allowing them to keep possession of the ball for the majority of the game. This is the first time in the past three games that the team has had the advantage in possessions and the first time this season that the draw controls won have been in double digits.
The Crimson also outshot Holy Cross 31-18 while forcing the Crusaders to turn the ball over nine times throughout the match. Harvard had the advantage in ground balls as well, recording 10 overall to Holy Cross’s seven. In goal, Weis was able to save seven of the 12 goals that got through Harvard’s defensive line. This season, Weis has played in all 11 games, recording 97 saves so far for a save percentage of 49.7 percent.
The women’s lacrosse team could not be reached for comment.
—Staff writer Ariel Smolik-Valles can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.