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Field Hockey Squeaks Past UNH, 2-1

Harvard Cruises to 2-0 Lead in First Half, Averts Disaster in Second Period

By Eric F. Brown, Special to The Crimson

DURHAM, N.H.--It's rare that a three-game winning streak starts to feel like a broken record.

But that's exactly what's happening to the Harvard field hockey team. The 16thranked team in the nation, Harvard (7-3, 3-0 Ivy) defeated New Hampshire 2-1 yesterday, but came out of the game feeling like an 0-10 squad.

Why is that? In the Crimson's three-game streak, the team has had two 2-1 wins and one 3-2 overtime victory. And of the three games, none should have been closer than two goals.

Yesterday, Harvard blasted ahead of UNH (1-12) in the first half, garnering a 2-0 lead and playing with the Wildcat defense like a child plays with a magnifying glass on an anthill. But in the second half, the ants went marching on as UNH went on the attack, scoring one goal and having another waved off.

To put it simply, if there had been another 10 minutes added on to this game, it would have probably been tied.

"There wasn't anything good to say about the second half," a distressed Harvard coach Sue Caples said. "I think we need to re-evaluate what's going on out there, and we need to be able to keep our composure and execute under pressure and we need to be a better defensive team. We have a lot of work to do."

The Wildcats' strategy in the second half was pretty simple--they double or triple-teamed sophomore Judy Collins and hoped that Harvard would be unable to successfully pass the ball to whoever was unmarked. It worked rather well.

After a shot by Harvard junior Amy DiMarzio hit the left post, almost extending the Crimson's lead to three, UNH attacker Kristen Diamond was able to run up the field practically unstopped, with only sophomore midfielder Stacey DiCicco on her tail. DiCicco fouled her in the arc, which gave the Wildcats a penalty corner; the resulting shot was a lift by Caroline Coyne that went into the net but was waved off for being a dangerous play.

That was the general feel of the second half. Harvard had attacks, some which could have been goals, but so did UNH. And the Crimson also had the bad habit of passing into the middle of nowhere, or not controlling teammates' passes or not marking up properly on defense.

"When you take a good look at what happened out there, it starts with each player," Caples said. "That can't happen. I don't know what they were thinking, but we definitely did not play in the second half. It was the worst 35 minutes of hockey we've played."

The Wildcats scored their lone goal of the day when Diamond flicked in a close-in shot on assist from Coyne. It was one of the few shots UNH had on the day, as Harvard goalie Anya Cowan only had five saves.

All of this, however, was completely different than the first half. It was not merely like watching different games, it was like watching different sports.

Harvard scored two goals in the opening period and could have scored many more. The gap between the two periods then was about as large as gaps get.

"I think that we totally dominated the first half--it was one of the best halves that we've played," co-captain Daphne Clark said. "[But] I think that the second half was one of the worst halves that we've played."

It took about 10 minutes for the Crimson to open the scoring. Coming just after a string of three Wildcat corners--their only corners of the half--DiMarzio drew a corner on the opposite end of the field. Clark, usually the main shooter, made a hard pass to freshman Dominique Kalil, who plunked the ball into the cage.

Harvard's second goal also came on a penalty corner, but this one was a bit more improvised. Clark again took the shot, but this time it was deflected towards junior Beck Stringer. She flicked the ball to DiMarzio, who tallied the goal. For Stringer, usually a defensively-minded midfielder, the assist was the first point of her career.

But when the game was over, all of the first half was forgotten. Because Harvard should have won this game by a score of about 5-0 and knows it.

"We pretty much fell apart," Clark said. "It's definitely frustrating, because we make these great improvements and these great steps but there's always one step back." Havard  2 UNH  1

HARVARD, 2-1 at Durham, N.H.. Harvard  2  0  --  2 UNH  0  1  --  1

First Half

Har--Kalil (Clark) 10:03.

Har--DiMarzio (Clark, Beckstringer) 22:46.

Second Half

UNH--Diamond (Coyne) 20:47.

Saves: Har--Cowan 5; UNH--Medico 12.

Penalty Corners: Har--12; UNH--7.

HARVARD, 2-1 at Durham, N.H.. Harvard  2  0  --  2 UNH  0  1  --  1

First Half

Har--Kalil (Clark) 10:03.

Har--DiMarzio (Clark, Beckstringer) 22:46.

Second Half

UNH--Diamond (Coyne) 20:47.

Saves: Har--Cowan 5; UNH--Medico 12.

Penalty Corners: Har--12; UNH--7.

First Half

Har--Kalil (Clark) 10:03.

Har--DiMarzio (Clark, Beckstringer) 22:46.

Second Half

UNH--Diamond (Coyne) 20:47.

Saves: Har--Cowan 5; UNH--Medico 12.

Penalty Corners: Har--12; UNH--7.

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