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The left side attack of the Harvard women's field hockey team is alive and quite well, and yesterday afternoon it was, in fact, explosive.
Gwill York, left wing, and Jenny Stone, left inside, teamed up for six goals and two assists yesterday, leading the Crimson women to an 8-0 thrashing of Tufts at Soldiers Field.
"We wanted to show Debi [Field, the Harvard coach] that the left side was as strong as the right." York said after the game. "Now she has two strong sides," the junior added.
York proved her point well, as she poured in a hat trick-plus-one from the left wing and added an assist to offensive dynamo Sarah Mleczko to bring the game action over to the left side.
Teammate Stone also joined in on the assault with two goals and an assist to York from her left inside spot.
The potent Crimson attack was all part of the Harvard explosion that kept the Jumbos of Tufts in their defensive zone for most of the afternoon. Tufts goalie Ellen Randyl made some spectacular saves throughout the contest, but she could not shut off the continual Crimson pressure which produced 49 shots on goal, 33 in the first half.
From the opening face-off it was all Harvard, who limited the Jumbos to just one shot on goal for the game, giving Crimson goalie Ellen Seidler another relaxing afternoon.
After seven minutes of relentless shooting off the sticks of York, Mleczko. Stone and captain Lucy Wood. York finally broke through, knocking a pass from Wood into the corner of the Tufts net.
That goal turned out to be all the women needed for the win, as Tufts got into the Harvard zone only once in the first half, and very briefly again in the second half. But the Crimson attack was in for a big day, especially from the fired-up York.
Ten minutes into the half. York came back for more, this time taking the relay from Stone in for a short poke that found the Jumbo net.
The right side attack spoke up just four minutes later, when talented Mleczko took a York crossing pass, and whistled it past the Jumbo defense for a 3-0 bulge.
York completed her day with two more scores before the half ended, off crossing passes from Mleczko and right wing Mary Howard. It was the right-left cooperation that produced the effective crossing passes and resulted in the dynamic Harvard offense.
The second half found the Crimson women relaxing with a 5-0 advantage, and the majority of play passed with unproductive, back-and-forth play around midfield. Jumbos Priscilla McClung and Jane Loitman worked the ball into the Crimson zone to trigger Tufts's only real offense of the day, as winger Leigh Hudson racked up Tufts's lone shot on goal.
But with time winding down, Stone picked up where York had left off, firing two scores, one on a magnificent scoop shot off a Howard crossing pass. Back Sue McCune also added a score with an unassisted shot that beat goalie Randyl to the left side.
"I was ecstatic with the win, "Field said after the game. "The defense put on some good offensive pressure, and we used more of the field with crossing passes."
Sophomore Stone expressed it best, though, when she said simply, "We were really working together."
The 2-0 women will journey to Storrs Saturday to meet UConn at 1 p.m.
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