The Harvard women's lacrosse team travelled to the wilds of Hanover, N.H. yesterday, scalped the Indians of Dartmouth, 20-7, and made off with one half of its second straight Ivy title.
The victory raised the Crimson's Ivy mark to 5-1 (12-5 overall), which places Harvard in a tie with UPenn. UPenn is currently ranked first in the country, but dropped an early seasoft contest to the laxwomen, 8-7.
The rampage over Dartmouth, in the laxwomen's penultimate game of the regular season, reminded disheartened Crimsonites of Harvard's 7-5 loss to Yale, whom the Crimson proceeded to destroy, 14-3, in the semifinals of the Easterns this past weekend.
"We just got careless and let it slip away," Coach Carole Kleinfelder said of the part of the Ivy Crown that now belongs to the Quakers.
While the laxwomen were sloppy that fated Tuesday afternoon in New Haven, yesterday they made sure that Dartmouth was not going to pull off an upset on its home turf.
The Crimson had a little trouble getting on track at the start of the game, but once Lisa Black tallied the first goal of the game, the offense started clicking. The score was 5-0 before the Indians even got on the scoreboard.
Offensively, "I think this was one of the best games of the season," co-captain Annie MacMillan and after the game. "We played even better than against Yale last weekend. I think our offense has really solidified in the last few games."
One indication of the attack's increasing prowess was its balanced scoring yesterday. All of the homes and attacks notched at least one goal in the 20 goal display of Crimson firepower, and Black, MacMillan, and Maurcen Finn led all scorers with four tallies each. Francesca Den Hartog, who has been developing her play-making abilities all season, assisted on three tallies, while notching three goals of her own.
While the offense had a field day, the defense struggle some.
"We came out real slow," defensewoman Jeannie Piersak said. "It should have been 3-0 against them at the beginning, but we got lucky. We're not going to be able to afford that against Penn State."
Indeed, the Nittany Lions, who are currently ranked third in the country (Harvard is seventh), will be coming to town this weekend for a pre-Nationals warmup. Game time Saturday is noon.
"We're going to have to work on our defense," said Kleinfelder," and the offense will have to start working off the ball more. We also have to make quicker and better decisions with our passes."
MacMillan added, "We'll probably run the same offense we've been running all along Either we'll isolate Fran [Den Hartog] or go one-on-one until they double-team us and then pass off."
"We call it baiting," she said.