When senior scoring sensation Sarah Mleczko leaves the women's lacrosse team, Coach Carole Kleinfelder will still have lots of scoring power left. The team evinced its future potential yesterday afternoon, putting its varied and potent offense on full display at Soldiers Field and mauling Brown, 22-4.
"Our attack was just too much for them," Kleinfelder said after the match. Besides a season-high 22 goals, the Crimson had four straight goals nullified by crease infringements, and narrowly missed several excellent opportunities.
Freshman ace Francesca Den Hartog led the Crimson attack. She registered eight goals, including three unanswered tallies, to break the contest open in the early going.
Den Hartog is one of the Crimson players to opt for the new plastic stick that women lacrosse players have been allowed to use for the first time this year. In the past only the traditional wooden stick was acceptable for women's play.
"The new stick is nicely balanced," Den Hartog noted. "It helps me particularly with my passing."
When Den Hartog was not scoring, she was passing the ball off to teammates who managed to find the right openings in the Brown goal. Wisty Oppenlander tallied five times, Lisa Kent scored three, including one on a nifty unassisted roll-dodge. Kerry Bryan had two goals, and Annie MacMillan and Maureen Finn each had one.
Sarah Mleczko scored twice, winding down her brilliant Harvard career. Although the senior sat out the second half with a sore ankle, she rammed home the two tallies late in the first half.
Even with the score at 11-3 after the first period. Crimson pressure was unrelenting. Sophomore Suzanne Vine came in to forecheck brilliantly and had one scoring play washed away by the referee's whistle.
Coach Kleinfelder's squad certainly blew the Brown team back to Providence and will probably level a teetering Cornell this Saturday.
The win against Brown ups their season record to 7-5. Kleinfelder believes the team will qualify for the New Englands later this spring.
From there the top three teams will go on to the Nationals. If this game is any guage of the stickwomen's future play, women's lacrosse fans will have lots to cheer about come May.