Just when you were beginning to take their winning for granted, the Harvard women booters made you appreciate how hard they have to work for each victory by waiting until overtime to squeak by Dartmouth, 2-1, Saturday at Soldiers Field.
Though Harvard outshot the Big Green by 800 per cent and rarely allowed the Dartmouth offense past the midfield line, the two teams found themselves locked in a 1-1 tie when the game horn sounded.
Yet, as the Crimson trotted onto the field to start the first ten-minute period of overtime play, the players looked poised and almost amused rather than worried.
"In the huddle we said, 'Why are we letting them give us a hard time?"' Harvard forward Sue St. Louis said yesterday. "We decided we had had enough fooling around and came out on the field totally confident that we were going to win."
With that attitude, it was no surprise that on Harvard's first overtime play, speedy Cat Ferrante streaked down the right side of the field, drawing the goalie out to cut down the angle while passing off to St. Louis. With the net wide open, St. Louis tapped the ball in to give Harvard the winning advantage with only 25 seconds gone.
Harvard continued to dominate the rest of overtime; but, as in the first two halves, it was unable to score more than once.
Crawly Green Things
The game had begun inauspiciously for both teams as Crimson forward Julie Brynteson hit the crossbar twice within a two-minute range and then play was stopped when the Dartmouth team joined the other crawly green things on the ground in search of a defenseman's contact lens.
The lens never was found; but the Big Green soon was brought to its knees again when Ellen Jakovic crossed a short ball from the right side to Ferrante, who booted it into the net at 19:39.
The combination of Gia Johnson's hustle, Jeanne Piersiak's slide tackles and flying head shots, and Sara Fischer's tenaciousness kept the Dartmouth offense from penetrating past Harvard's halfbacks and taking a single shot on net during the first half.
But frustration turned to aggressiveness, and Dartmouth tied the score at 1:54 on a "who's got the ball" play in front of the Crimson net.
While the Big Green frustrated any further Harvard scoring drives during regular play by double-teaming St. Louis and crowding players in front of its net, the huddle before overtime provided the Crimson with the confidence that boosted it to victory.
The Booters' record now stands at 8-0, which secures the Crimson a spot in the Ivy League tournament.