When the ball is not bouncing your way, it usually doesn't help to play on artificial turf.
The Harvard field hockey team watched a lot of bouncing yesterday at Springfield: the ball going into its own net and the game into the 'L' column.
Springfield blanked Harvard, 4-0, to give the Crimson its third straight loss and drop the team to 1-3 overall, certainly an inauspicious beginning.
Harvard has now failed to score a goal for over 140 minutes, its last tally coming in the team's 2-1 loss to Connecticut on September 23.
"We went to goal and had the opportunities," Harvard Coach Sue Caples said. "We just couldn't convert, and we committed a lot of critical mental errors."
Caples said that the score does not reflect the reality of the game accurately. Indeed, Harvard mustered 12 shots against Springfield, more than it had against Connecticut and Brown combined.
The Crimson also forced nine penalty corners and was able to pressure the Maroon for much of the game.
The teams finished the first half deadlocked at 0-0, behind freshman netminder Jessica Milhollin (14 saves for the day) who kept Springfield silenced for 35 minutes.
But a field hockey contest is more than 35 minutes long.
The bottom line is that in the second period the Maroon found a way to score while Harvard was left to contemplate its offensive problems.
"We had our moments in this game. We played probably our best hockey at times, but we also played our worst," Caples said.
Harvard junior Francie Walton said that the team failed to keep up the necessary intensity for the whole 70 minutes of the match.
Harvard has had trouble with lapses in concentration this season, something that Caples attributes to the team's inexperience.
Those mental mistakes last night allowed Springfield to tally two goals in the first 17 minutes of the second period. The two initial Maroon scores both came off penalty corners and were more products of Harvard miscues than Springfield execution.
Springfield scored its two final scores in the last minute of the contest, adding insult to injury.
"Those last two goals were the back breakers," Caples said.
SPRINGFIELD, 4-0 at Springfield, Mass. Springfield 0 4 -- 0 Harvard 0 0 -- 0
G: Springfield--D. Brokk, T. Landen, H. Waters, S. Zalvoic.; Harvard--None. A: Springfield--D. Potyra. Harvard--None. S: Springfield--D. Handlin 12; Harvard--J. Milhollin 14.
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