Halloween came 10 days early Saturday morning as sorceress Sarah Mleczko waved her magic field hockey stick, scoring all of Harvard's goals to bewitch Cornell, 3-0, at Soldiers Field.
Harvard totally dominated the games as the Crimson defense held the Big Red's forward line to only tour shots-on-goal, while the home team's offense let go 16.
The first Crimson goal came at 31:30 of the first half when left winger Sue Field centered the ball to Mleczko, who whacked it into the Cornell net.
Under Her Spell
Mleczko, however, needed no assistance on her second goal. Breaking with the ball at the 50-yd. line, she dodged the Big Red defense and faked out the goalie to up the tally to 2-0 at 5:20 of the second half.
To the dismay of the Cornell goalie, Mleczko never let up and notched the hat trick with only two and a half minutes remaining in the game. This time, the right inner found the ball in a scramble in front of the net and drove it home for the final score of the game.
"The game was really good, everyone played together. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time," Mleczko said.
Coach Debi Field was less modest about the star player's show. "Sarah was devastating," she said.
Mleczko has scored seven goals so far this year, averaging one a game.
The Crimson defense kept the match from being a one-woman show by playing well and picking up their fourth shut-out. "The defense played flawlessly," Field said. "Chris Sailer had her best game I've ever seen," she added.
Co-captain and goalie Ellen Seidler concurred, saying, "Our defense was so good I could have stayed home reading a book, and it wouldn't have made a difference."
"It was important to win this game after losing to Dartmouth, not only for our personal pride and confidence but also to gain a good seed in the regionals coming up," Seidler added.
The Crimson stickwomen's record now stands at 5-2. Their next match is Tuesday against Brown at Harvard.