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Springfield Shuts Down Stickwomen's Attack, 1-0

By Sean Becker

Fundamentals.

The Harvard field hockey team's defensive unit is well versed in them.

The Crimson offense, however, seems to be in need of a refresher course, as it was held scoreless in a 1-0 loss to host Springfield yesterday.

After an impressive 4-0 start, Harvard (4-2-1) has struggled. While the defense has remained steady, the Crimson offense has scored just one goal in the past two games.

"It's very simple," Coach Sue Caples said. "We have to go back to basics and execute with fundamentals. We're not finishing the play off inside the 25-yard line."

The Crimson's lack of cohesiveness led to just five shots on goal, only two of which forced the Springfield goalie to make saves.

Harvard's offensive insufficiency put the pressure on the defense, which allowed only one goal for the second straight game. The Chiefs managed 13 shots, but only three reached Harvard goalie Lisa Yadao.

The majority of the game's play was in midfield, where Springfield carried the play "We were just having problems in midfield," Co-Captain Cici Clark said. "We weren't together at all today. We didn't have any connection."

Springfield's Holli Schultz tallied the game's only goal with 15 minutes left in the second period. Schultz slipped through the Crimson defense on a cross, and poked the ball past an extended Yadao.

Whenever Harvard did threaten, it self-destructed with errant passes and turnovers.

"We were making it too easy for them," Caples said. "We brought it right at their defenders."

The Crimson must shake its lethargy by Saturday, when it hosts Cornell at Cumnock Field. The game marks a return to natural grass for the Crimson, which has played its last two contests on unfamiliar artificial turf.

What are the Crimson players expecting in the interim?

"We'll have a few days of conditioning, stickwork and just general work," Clark said.

You might have guessed. Fundamentals.

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