The women's lacrosse team set the stage for a new, successful era of women's sports at Harvard by smashing the Princeton Tigers 7-4 Saturday morning at Soldier's Field. The lacrosse victory shines against the dark season of losses to the Tigers in field hockey, swimming and basketball.
After Princeton tied the score at four with 15 minutes left in the second half, freshman Sarah Mlesczko took control for the Crimson, pumping three consecutive goals past Tiger netminder Tracey Andrews. The three-goal burst gave Harvard the win and Mlesczko five tallies for the contest.
"Sarah's the strongest player we have in one-on-one situations," coach Debi Field said yesterday.
"We knew that lacrosse was Princeton's weakest sport. Our victory showed that Princeton is vulnerable," assistant coach Carole Kleinfelder said.
Captain Anne Johnson blasted a goal 'early in the first period to give the Crimson a 1-0 lead. Johnson then assisted senior Carrie Minot who was standing alone in front of the Princeton goal at her third home position for a 2-0 Crimson advantage.
Princeton cut Harvard's lead to 2-1, but Mleczko answered with her first tally of the game to make it 3-1 for the Crimson. Again Mlesczko put the laxwomen on top, 4-2, after Princeton cut the margin to one. The Tigers notched their third goal near the end of the first half to make the score 4-3.
The Crimson came out flat in the second half and Princeton tied the score at four. But Mleczko's barrage buried the much-hated Tigers.
"The beginning of the first half was the best cohesive attack play I've seen from the team. The attack was getting the good percentage shots. We didn't play so well in the end of the first and the start of the second halves. Our passing was less accurate," Field said.
"The defense worked well as a unit," Field said. "Sukie Magraw played very well in the goal," Kleinfelder said. "This is her first year at goalie and I'd say she's one of the best in the league. She has natural instincts and is very quick."
Sophomore center Marcia Goldberg summed up the win well. "We were really excited about beating Princeton," she said.