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After two consecutive losses last week the women's lacrosse team got back on the track Saturday, downing the Big Green of Dartmouth, 7-4, in Hanover, N.H.
Harvard's big gun again proved to be Sarah Mleczko, about whom coach Debi Field commented, "There's nothing that can hold her back," Certainly the Big Green couldn't, as she tallied five times, giving the prolific sophomore her third hat-trick-plus-two in the last four games.
Mleczko gave the Crimson a 1-0 lead early in the game, and Wistie Oppenlander, assisted by Ellen Seidler, added to the margin soon after. Dartmouth narrowed the lead to 2-1 before Mleczko made it 3-1 with about eight minutes to go in the half.
The Big Green took over for the remaining minutes of the first period, scoring twice to make it three-all at the midway point.
The second half, though, was an entirely different story. Harvard combined a stingy defense with a potent attack to put the game safely out of reach.
Offensively Mleczko dominated, scoring three times in 20 minutes, while freshman Ann Velie added a goal of her own as the Crimson coasted to a hefty 7-3 lead.
The defensive effort proved to be more of a collective endeavor. Field explained: "We tried to force them to pass long so we could come up with the interception, which we did. Also, their accuracy was off, which helped us."
So well did Harvard close off the inside to the Hanoverians that Crimson goalie Sukie Magraw had only two saves in the second half.
Dartmouth managed to sneak a goal into the nets in the closing minutes of the contest, but by then it was academic.
The day was no so fruitful for the J.V. team, as the junior laxwomen received the painful end of a 15-2 thrashing.
The Big Green did most of its damage in the first period, rolling up a formidable 10-1 half-time advantage. "Our defense had some real problems," Field said.
The varsity's victory evened the Crimson's season record at 4-4, which they will try to improve this afternoon when they host Tufts at Soldiers Field.
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