Rain and mud did not hinder the Crimson stickwomen as they swamped the University of Rhode Island Rams yesterday on a submerged Soldier's Field.
Forwards Kate Martin, Maureen Finn and Betsy Torg led the four-goal Crimson downpour, ending a two-game scoring drought. The Crimson took the lead late in the first half on a Finn penalty stroke and never fell behind, upping their record to 4-7-1.
Forward Tania Huber, who had three assists on the day, said, "This was the first time we've played well as a team for a couple of weeks. Harvard did extraordinarily well given the conditions." Martin added, "We finally played like we know how to play. We were aggressive, and the weren't."
Rhode Island, 3-10-1 on the year, played well through most of the first half, but with 56 seconds left, a Ram defensewoman erred, touching the ball with her hand inside the striking circle. Harvard co-captain Finn converted the penalty into the team's first goal in two games.
A near-even contest became a runaway when the stickwomen exploded in the second half for three goals. Two minutes into the half, Martin scored on a follow-in shot after Huber smacked the ball around out-of-position Rhode Island goalie Debb Robson.
A few minutes later, it was Huber again assisting Torg on a score.
The Rams responded courageously to the Crimson's third goal by driving deep into Harvard's striking circle. Rhode Island right-wing Linda Herron put the ball past goalie Juliet Lamont to narrow the score at 3-1.
But Harvard's final goal clinched the game at 21:53 in the second stanza when Huber, looking for her third assist, saw Martin in the clear and passed across the field for the goal.
Conditions for the game were "in one word, abominable," umpire Mary Lou Thornberg said yesterday. She added, "With miserable weather like this, the entire flow of a contest is interrupted. It's a whole new, muddy, ball game."
Weather didn't seem to affect the Harvard team as it started off quickly, keeping the ball in the Rhode Island end for most of the game. Martin said, "I really enjoy the wet and mud. It's a lot more fun falling in the slush than on hard grass."
Crimson coach Edie MacAusland was "ecstatic" about the victory, saying, "The team played as I knew they could all year. Everyone played like they were winners. This is the best team I've ever had, and they really showed it today," she said.
She added that she was pleased that Harvard has begun scoring again after having lost to Princeton last week 2-0 and being blanked by UMass 4-0 in its previous game.
At that time, Harvard's chances for making the Eastern Finals seemed grim. But now, things have changed. Martin, the team's leading scorer, said, "We have to win our next two games to be invited to Easterns. If we keep it up like we did today--aggressive and all--we'll make it. It's do or die from here on out."
The stickwomen will next battle Yale October 29, and later Brown and Nor-theastern.
The only other interesting note of the game, in an otherwise cold and wet contest, was that the stickwomen did not wear their traditional kilts. Instead, the team wore shorts. "It's way too cold for dresses on a day like today," one player said yesterday.
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