What a way to lose.
With less than a minute left in yesterday's Harvard-Yale women's lacrosse game at Ohiri Field, the upset-minded Elis were holding a 10-9 lead over the Crimson. Harvard co-captain Megan Colligan--who had already scored four goals--blitzed through the defense and shot the ball into the net, and the game was tied. Yale 10 Harvard 9
But only for a fleeting moment. Yale immediately asked the referees to check Colligan's stick, and the pouch was ruled to be too deep. It was impounded, and the goal was erased from the scoreboard, leaving Harvard without enough time to get another shot on goal.
So the only reason Harvard (3-2 overall, 1-2 Ivy) lost wasn't Yale's (6-0, 2-0) superior play. It was also due to a call, and that makes the defeat all the more difficult to swallow.
"It was kind of ridiculous," sophomore attacker Liz Schoyer said. "I guess we're all sort of in shock."
That makes sense, since yesterday's game is as shocking as it gets.
Even though Yale was the team that came into Ohiri Field with the undefeated record, Harvard was the favorite. The Crimson have made the six-team NCAA Tournament for each of the past seven seasons, while the Elis perennially play second sisters to their traditional rivals.
But yesterday, Yale showed that it would not be easily intimidated. After senior midfielder Sarah Winters (three goals, one assist) rifled a goal past the Yale goaltender at the 27:56 mark, the Elis responded quickly. On their next possession, attacker Laura Karmatz stood behind the net unguarded and found an open Katherine Koegler in front of the net for an easy score.
That was the first of three Yale responses to Harvard strikes, with all three goals assisted by Karmatz. Although later in the game the Crimson put a defender on her when she was behind the net, Karmatz still tallied five dishes on the day.
After these scores, the game was tied at three apiece, but then the Elis took the lead for good.
With six minutes to go in the half, it was Karmatz again, this time scoring an unassisted goal only 1:17 after Yale tied the game. Attacker Sharon Langhoff widened the lead for the Bulldogs to 5-3 with 4:58 to play, and the Crimson was forced to play an unlikely game of catchup from then on.
"It was a really disappointing game," sophomore midfielder Lindsay Davison said. "We were getting pushed off of ground balls a lot, and we weren't applying what we learned in practice about isolating a person."
Harvard scored with 48 seconds left in the half, but wouldn't you know it, 22 seconds later Yale reextended the lead to two at 6-4 on a high shot over the Crimson's sophomore goaltender, Kate Schutt.
In the beginning of the second half, it was more of the same. Yale began the scoring with a shot by attacker Colleen Mallon on an assist from--who else?--Karmatz to take a three-goal lead.
Harvard did come back, with co-captains Genevieve Chelius and Colligan scoring two consecutive goals to pull within one, but then it was deja vu all over again. Yale tallied thrice in 2:19 to make the score 10-6, and the game looked like it was over.