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Laxwomen Hoping to Coast

By Andrew J. Arends, Crimson Staff Writer

One step at a time. Don't look too far ahead. Easy does it. Sentiments like these seem to be the watchwords for the Harvard women's lacrosse team as it continues on its march for its second NCAA title in three years.

The Crimson is trying to maintain its focus on the regular season. In fact, any talk of the NCAA tournament is quickly squashed.

"We've got three games left before the NCAA's. If we make the NCAA we'll bypass the ECAC's, but we've got a big weekend in front of us," senior Co-Captain Sarah Leary said.

A big weekend indeed. On Saturday, the Crimson (4-0 Ivy, 9-1 overall) plays host to 12th-ranked Cornell (3-1 Ivy, 8-3 overall) Saturday and then Old Dominion (2-3 Colonial, 5-10 overall) Sunday.

Cornell figures to give the Crimson a run for its money. The Big Red did not lose any players to graduation last year features a well-balanced attack.

Harvard's midfielders will also have their hands full. The Big Red has an uncanny knack for stripping opponents in the midfield and, hence, controlling the offense.

Leading the Cornell attack with 24 goals apiece are junior southpaw Tina Hennessey and senior attack Rai Tascoe.

Harvard Coach Carole Kleinfelder is concerned about Harvard's ability to adapt to Cornell's zone defense, an anomaly in lacrosse.

Failure to adjust quickly to an opponent's style was a factor in the Crimson's loss to Loyola last week.

"Their zone will force us to adapt. We need to be careful when we pass, and pass often, as the zone clogs the middle," Kleinfelder said.

The Crimson has been working on its attack in practice this week, especially on the running game.

"We need to be more aggressive on the attack and score more of the fast break," Kleinfelder said. "We were running well at the start of the season, but that has faltered lately and we want to get it back."

Old Dominion does not figure to be much of a challenge for the Crimson. The Monarchs almost pulled off an upset (8-7) of Loyola earlier this season.

Leading the Monarchs' unbalanced attack is freshman phenom Ericka Davidheiser with 24 goals. The next highest scorer, Amy Cordes, has only 11 goals on the season.

Junior Liz Berkery continues to lead the Harvard attack with 37 goals on the season, but the Crimson finds more balance with senior Buffy Hansen and sophomores Sarah Downing and Francie Walton. Women's Lax Top Ten Team  Record 1. Harvard  9-1 2. Maryland  9-1 3. Virginia  10-2 4. Loyola  10-2 5. Penn State  9-2 6. Willam and Mary  10-3 7. Dartmouth  6-3 8. Temple  6-4 9. Princeton  9-3 10. Lafayette  7-5

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