The Harvard women's lacrosse team got a well-earned break in its schedule Sunday as it rolled to a 16-5 victory over a weak Rutgers squad in New Brunswick, N.J.
The first-ranked Crimson (6-0 overall, 2-0 Ivy) stretched its winning streak to six as it thoroughly trounced the young Scarlet Knights.
The Rutgers program was almost axed two years ago, and was saved only after women athletes filed a lawsuit to retain the program. That goes a long way towards explaining what happened Sunday afternoon.
The Crimson jumped out to a big lead, scoring the first four goals of the contest. Freshman Megan Colligan scored the first goal less than a minute into the contest, followed by junior Liz Berkery, senior Becky Gaffney and senior Buffy Hansen.
Harvard in Control
Rutgers got on the board with 19:15 remaining in the first half, but by then it was obvious who was in control of the contest.
"It was a pretty one-sided game, but they improved a lot over last year," said Harvard Coach Carole Kleinfelder. "They're young, and they've come a long way."
Rutgers scored twice again in the first frame, but the Crimson held onto an 8-3 lead going into the half.
Kleinfelder went to her bench, and did it early, as every member of the squad saw playing time.
"This was a good opportunity for our reserves to get some game time," Kleinfelder said. "These are the people we will count on to come off the bench in the stretch, and it was important for them to get some experience."
Senior Co-Captain Ceci Clark agreed. "We really needed this opportunity to work everyone into the offense, and we worked well together," Clark said.
The Crimson started the second half even faster than the first, with freshman Liz Williamson scoring an unassisted goal with only 28 seconds into the half.
Williamson's goal was the first of another set of four straight, as Harvard jumped out to a 12-3 lead. Rutgers scored twice more, but the Crimson ripped off four more goals in the last five minutes to put the game away.
"We tried to work on setting up our attack, and we controlled the game with our passing," said Clark.
Kleinfelder and senior Co-Captain Sarah Leary singled out Hansen for her fine performance.