Rebounding from last Saturday's heartbreaking 1-0 loss to UConn, the Harvard women's field hockey team rolled past Northeastern, 3-1, yesterday afternoon in Huskie territory.
In the J.V. contest that followed the varsity game, Harvard also prevailed with a 1-0 shutout.
Though it was achieved by the game's end, the resurgence was slow in coming, as the Crimson women came out sluggish, letting Northeastern dominate play throughout the first half.
"We were not moving to the ball or attacking aggressively," said Harvard coach Debi Field. "Throughout the first half we really conceded them the ball."
But despite the lackluster Crimson play through the first 35 minutes, the Huskies only scored once before halftime. That score came 12 minutes into the half, when Husky center forward Doreen Rose took a pass in front of the Crimson goal and slid the ball past goalie Ellen Seidler.
Much of the half was spent with back-and-forth play about the midfield stripe, as both teams had difficulty mounting a sustained attack. But Seidler was equal to the challenge when the Huskies threatened, and she turned aside 12 of the 13 Northeastern shots throughout the game.
At halftime, it was Field's turn to take charge and rally her troops back to life for the second 35 minutes.
"I don't know exactly what I said at the half, but I didn't get mad at them" she said. "I mainly told them they had to want it individually, that they had to give it their all and forget about everything that had happened. We just had to go out there and really do it."
Do it they did, and they did it quick, as Gwill York took only 1:30 of the second half before she let loose a drive from the left side that beat the Huskie goalie. York's shot came off a crossing pass from Stefi Baum, the Crimson right back.
York, who exploded last week against Tufts for four goals, re-ignited the Harvard attack four minutes later when she took another Baum crossing pass and slid it into the Northeastern net for what turned out to be the winning goal.
With a 2-1 lead early in the half, Harvard kept up the offensive pressure, but with the team attacking so fiercely, the Huskies broke past the Harvard defense occasionally to test the Crimson resistance. In the second half, though, the Huskies ran into a brick wall.
Sarah Mleczko added a finishing touch to the victory when she took a feed from Elaine Kellogg, the link, and drove the ball into the right corner with just 40 seconds left to play. The score capped a double comeback for the women, who overcame both the UConn defeat and the Northeastern lead.
"It was great that we got back on our feet and scored in the second half," said York. "No one really said much at half-time, I guess everyone just individually decided they really wanted it."
Linda Cabot's first-half score was the only tally of the J.V. game, giving Harvard the 1-0 victory over Northeastern that completed a sweep of the day for the Crimson.
Superb defense by Harvard backs Bin Martineau and Wendy Sonnabend kept the Huskie attack silent, while Betty Ippolito's flawless goaltending kept all 13 Northeastern shots away from the Crimson net, and moved the J.V. record to 2-2.
It was Cabot's drive, with 27 minutes gone in the first half, that made the difference. The score tied Cabot for the J.V. team lead in scoring, as both she and Ann Velie have notched three goals each.
Tomorrow night, the varsity women (3-1) will travel to Ithaca to face Cornell, under the lights, on the polyturf at Schoellkopf Stadium. Starting time is an unusual 10:30 p.m.
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