Rebounding decisively from last week's loss to to the Bulldogs, the Harvard women's lacrosse team overpowered Yale, 14-3, and UNH, 6-4 to successfully defend its Eastern AIAW championship this weekend at Yale The victories qualified the Crimson for a trip to the national tournament to be held at West Chester State College, May 13-15.
The laxwomen went down to New Haven this weekend looking for revenge and quickly found it Saturday morning in the tournament's semi-finals, dispatching host Yale with a rejuvenated attack.
"We made a lot of mistakes against Yale the first time," said Coach Carole Kleinfelder after the game. "This time we changed some things. We dropped into a zone on defense which made a big difference and on offense, we didn't fool around. We really played hard on the attack."
Make "Em Choke
The attack got a firm stranglehold on the Elis early as they racked up the game's first nine goals. Co-captain Annie MacMillan led the way for the Crimson in the early going with tallies five through eight.
Like MacMillan, Maureen Finn and Francessa Den Hartog also had no trouble finding Bulldog twine all day king as they contributed five goals and three goals respectively in Saturday's grudge match.
Junior defense wing Katic Martin and freshman attack wing Lisa Black moved from the junior varsity for the Crimson against Yale, each competing in her first AIAW tournament and giving the Crimson's play some zest that had been missing earlier in the week.
"They did a real good job," said Finn afterwards, "Katie's speed really helped us, and Lisa was real strong on the attack." The changes in the team's lineup, which also included sending Maggic Hart to center ("She really carried the middle of the field for us," said Klemicides), paid off in Sunday's final against USH as well.
After Finn started the ball rolling for the Crimson with a converted penalty shot at 22.03 of the first half. Black gave Harvard a two-goal advantage with a tally from short range only 11 seconds later.
USH then got back in the game with two quick scores of its own to tie the contest, but the ubiquitous Black stuffed another at 14:36 to give the laxwomen a lead they would never relinquish as Finn, with three more tallies, continued to provide the Crimson firepower.
Still More to Play
Although the national tournament is a full 12 days away. Harvard won't have to worry about the reading-period blahs as it prepares for the National tournament.
The Crimson is slated to face Dartmouth in its final Ivy contest of the year this Thursday, and perennial powerhouse Penn State Saturday in a contest that should give the Crimson a good indication of exactly where it stands going into the post-season playoffs. UNH follows the Nittany Lions early next week.
Penn State should be a great test," said Kleintelder. "From my standpoint, this team is even more ready for the National tournament than last year's. I've said all along it's not where we started, it's where we finish."