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Sporting an impressive ball-control offense, the Crimson field hockey team defeated an outmanned Bowdoin squad, 2-0, Saturday at Soldiers Field.
With the exception of one furious rush late in the game, Bowdoin rarely penetrated deep into Crimson territory. Harvard, using a combination of skillful stickwork up front and aggressive midfield play, controlled the contest.
"We played smart possession hockey," Harvard coach Edie MacAusland said after the game.
Playing on a wet, slippery field, several Bowdoin players had trouble making quick cuts. However, the sloppy conditions did not hamper the Harvard attack.
"The field didn't seem to bother us, surprisingly," co-captain Chris Sailer said. "I think more people fell down Thursday (against UNH) than today." It appeared not to bother Sailer, anyway, as the junior back controlled the midfield and gained possession of many key loose balls.
Though Harvard dominated play, the women tallied just two goals. "It looked like a 5-0 game to me," MacAusland said, who was disturbed at the many wasted opportunities. "We have to learn to move without the ball and create open spaces for shots."
Freshman Kate Martin opened Harvard's 1979 scoring when she netted her first varsity goal at 12:25 of the first half. (The Crimson were shut out, 3-0, in last Thursday's opener.) Junior Sue Field, who had been on the verge of scoring all day from her left wing spot, added the clincher with 4:25 left in the game.
Harvard so dominated the game that goalie Betty Ippolito was rarely tested. She did, however, come up with the big save when needed, stopping a possible tying goal late in the contest off the stick of Bowdoin's Anne Bullock.
The win was the first at Harvard for rookie coach MacAusland. This year's team, with just one senior on the roster, had been expected to face a rebuilding year. But co-captain Sailer voiced a general optimism after the Bowdoin win, saying an Ivy League Championship and regional play-off berth were both very real possibilities. "(Coach MacAusland's) just what we needed at this point," Sailer said.
MacAusland, however, preferred to look ahead only as far as Tuesday, when a powerful Springfield club will be the Crimson's next opponent. "They are a good hockey school," she said. "However, we'll give them a run for their money."
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