While some of you were baking under southern skies yesterday or heading back to Cambridge after a week of beer, sun-tan lotion and oblivion, the Harvard women's lacrosse team was basking in the glory of a 7-6 win over the University of Pennsylvania.
The win over Penn, ranked number four nationally in preseason polls, came after the laxwomen had made their own sojourn south--to Philadelphia--where they trounced Temple, Ursinus, and West Chester State, all ranked in the top ten. Harvard has been ranked fifth in the country.
"The defense kept us in the game," coach Carole Kleinfelder said yesterday about the Penn game, Harvard led at the half, 7-3, but only managed two shots on goal in the second half. Penn forced 41 Harvard turnovers. Harvard's defense did force Penn to cough up the ball twice in the last minute, the last time running out the clock.
Kleinfelder praised goalkeeper Charlotte Worsley for an "outstanding job" in the nets. Worsley came up with crucial saves in the last five minutes to keep Penn from tying the score again. Kleinfelder added that Worsley's play has become more consistent with each game.
The laxwomen may have just edged the Penn squad, but they left its neighbors along the Mainline bleeding on the fields, "I was pleased with the offense," Kleinfelder said of the previous three matches. "We were scoring a lot; none of the other teams were able to stay even."
Harvard opened the week with a 12-5 drubbing of highly regarded Temple University. The laxwomen fired off 28 shots, nailing four goals in the first six minutes. Goaltender Worsley came up with 11 saves, an unusually high percentage. Kleinfelder was quick to point out that Temple won last year's game against Harvard by one goal.
Next, number two ranked Ursinus lost for the first time ever to Harvard when Maureen Finn got the go-ahead goal with two and a half minutes left on an assist by Anne MacMillan to make the final score 10-9.
"West Chester [State College] was the most prepared team we played," Kleinfelde said yesterday. She called last Thursday's 12-8 victory "a good win."
Attacker Francesca Denhartog--who had six goals and two assists in that game--was a bit more enthusiastic. "West Chester was a key game. It boosted our confidence," she said, adding. "The offense was passing the ball around to give the defense a rest. We didn't panic."