Still reeling from last year’s loss to Dartmouth on the final day of the league schedule, Harvard women’s basketball is determined to fill the holes that arguably cost it the Ivy title against the Big Green.
“We had some weaknesses on defense last year that we won’t have this year,” says junior co-captain Christine Matera. “We had the size last year and [Dartmouth] had the speed, and it ended up where the benefit was on their side.”
A talented, lightning-quick point guard on Harvard women’s basketball. A beauty-pageant winner, community spokesperson, and role model in Los Angeles. These seem to be descriptions of two individuals with two very different lives. Well, not this time.
Junior Lindsay Louie is likely the only Harvard student who can inspire and teach cultural values to multiple groups of kids in her hometown of Los Angeles, Calif., then hop on a plane and break the ankles of dozens more back in Massachusetts—all in a span of 36 hours. And she does it fairly regularly.
Most successful college teams boast a few solid seniors to provide leadership and keep the team in check. The four seniors of last year’s Harvard women’s basketball team could do all this and more, and the Crimson rode these veterans to an 11-3 Ivy League record.
A loss to Dartmouth in the final game of last season took away the squad’s hopes of an Ivy League title, but Harvard received a berth in the NIT. The Crimson was unable to overcome St. John’s in the first round, and that 83-60 loss brought two campaigns to a close—the team’s season and the careers of its four seniors, leaving behind a very young Harvard team.
Few freshmen are given the responsibility of handling the ball with the game on the line. Even fewer freshmen take the last-second shot for their team. But Brogan Berry wasn’t just any freshman.
Against Dartmouth on January 10, Berry lit up the floor, knocking down 20 points in the first Ivy League game of her career. But the then-rookie’s turnover on the final possession rendered the occasion sour.
The spotlight shined on the Harvard men’s basketball team last winter when the Crimson soundly defeated No. 17 Boston College by 12 points, on the road, two days after the Eagles had defeated eventual national champion North Carolina. But Harvard couldn’t live up to the expectations of stardom, as the Crimson faltered in Ivy League play and the program’s fifteen minutes of fame all but expired.
This year’s team hopes to return to center stage, but via another route—an Ivy championship.