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Field Hockey Confronts Boston College Eagles


Early to shoot, early to score makes a team fired-up and ready for more.

Ben Franklin might not condone this butchering of a proverb, but for Harvard field hockey coach Sue Caples, it's the way to win against No. 15 Boston College today.

"It's important to come out strong," Caples said. "We definitely need to break their back early."

Today, the Crimson (5-7, 2-2 Ivy) hopes to snap off its past trend of playing catch-up. Saturday's game against Duke spotlighted this trend when the Blue Devils grabbed a 4-0 lead and withstood a Crimson rally.

For the Crimson, though, maintaining a lead is just as important as attaining it. On Friday, an early 1-0 Harvard lead dissipated after three William & Mary goals. The Tribe foiled a late charge and won, 3-2.

"We need to work on consistency," Caples said. "We know we can play; it's just a matter of being consistent. As we mature, we'll be more consistent and eliminate mental lapses."

Despite losing, Harvard submitted one of its better performances against Duke. The Crimson wants to continue this solid play today.

"We played really well against Duke," said senior co-captain Amy DiMarzio. "We were definitely 50-50 against Duke. We put great pressure on the ball and had great passing. We really wanted to win. We played with calmness and confidence."

Two penalty strokes made the difference for Duke, which scored on both.

"Unfortunately, we had some bad calls made against us," DiMarzio said.

Duke also peppered the Harvard net. Sophomore Anya Cowan needed to stop 13 shots. In Harvard's last win, a 2-1 gem against Providence last Monday, Cowan made just three saves.

"We need to shut teams down," Caples said. "We need to step up and intercept. We need good transition with possession. We can't have good transition and lose the ball."

The Eagles' speed adds another dimension to the game.

"B.C. has a lot of speed, and we need to control their speed," Caples said.

"We need to communicate on the field and be first to the ball," DiMarzio said.

Today's game offers excellent preparation for the Mother of All Field Hockey Games, when Harvard hosts Princeton on Saturday. However, Caples wants her team to focus on the present.

"We need to play one half at a time," Caples said. "[Today's] game is very important."

The game reflects a regional rivalry and will determine bragging rights in the Boston Four--the other two being North-eastern and Boston University.

"B.C. is a great team, but I really think we can take one from them," DiMarzio said.

Scoring the first goal would definitely add lightning to key a Crimson victory.

Franklin, who knew something about lightning and keys, would probably agree.


Record: 5-7 overall; 2-2 Ivy

Coach: Sue Caples

Captains: Amy Dimarzio, Beck Stringer

Key Players: Judy Collins, Anya Cowan, Katie Schoolwerth

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