In a game more one-sided than the 6-0 score would indicate, the Harvard women's lacrosse team won its opening game against the University of Rhode Island (URI) yesterday afternoon in Kingston.
Lacrosse coach Debi Field described the game as "initially frustrating" due to Rhode Island's use of a zone defense. The Crimson had difficulty scoring on the zone and was limited to two first half goals despite almost total ball control during the half.
Freshman Liza Glen scored the first goal of the game with a sneaky shot from behind the goal. Sophomore "Whisty" Oppenlander added the second goal just minutes later to close the half with Harvard on top, 2-0.
A New Look
The Crimson worked out a new strategy to deal with the URI zone and came on to add another four goals in the second half. Strong play by the Rhode Island goalie and injuries to Glen and Oppenlander did not hinder the Harvard attack.
In the second half, a freshman trio provided the punch; Ann Velie, Carrie Cunningham, and Chris Sailer each registered one goal.
Velie opened the second-half scoring, putting a shot over the URI goalie's left shoulder. Cunningham's goal followed the Velie score, and a breakaway tally by Sailer brought the score to 5-0.
Marcia Goldberg closed the scoring late in the game.
Oppenlander described the game as "rough," nothing the use of the zone defense by Rhode Island.
Field said the Harvard defense was "solid but not perfect," and she praised the play of Crimson captain and goalie Sukie McGraw, who made eight saves in registering the shutout.
Field saw a number of weaknesses in the offense although she attributed many of the team's offensive problems to Rhode Island's use of the zone, calling the victory a "solid win."However, she said she was not completely pleased and saw that they still needed work.
The Crimson women will get the chance to work on the weaknesses when they host the Penn Quakers, Saturday at 2 p.m. at Soldier's Field.