Once the 1997 women's lacrosse season is said and done, yesterday's game will rank as one of the most disappointing.
The 14-5 loss at Brown is not the team's only defeat this year, nor is it even the largest one. But Harvard (3-5, 0-3 Ivy) truly believed that it could win this one and get back in the Ivy league race.
Harvard was really wrong.
In the first 15 minutes of play, No. 12 Brown (5-4, 3-2) jumped out to a 7-1 lead and never looked back. A total of 10 different Bears scored over the course of the game, and Brown goalie Becky Tavani saved eight of the 13 shots on net.
"They just came out right from the start and scored a lot of quick goals right away," said co-captain Daphne Clark. "We had no attack most of the game--there were open people, but we just weren't playing heads-up lacrosse."
The defeat is Harvard's fifth in a row after three victories to open the season before spring break. This loss, however, was different than its predecessors in that the defense broke down as much as the other parts of the team.
The Crimson's plan was to concentrate on stopping the Bears' top offensive players, but that failed to work when every opponent started to score. No one had or needed more than two goals.
Harvard goaltender and co-captain Shana Barghouti allowed 14 goals against nine saves, which would be a subpar day for her if most of the shooters had not been standing right off the crease.
"They'd get a step on us when receiving the pass," said senior Liz Schoyer. "A lot of their shots were point blank."
This breakdown was a stark contrast to Harvard's previous game, when the defense held No. 1 Maryland to five goals in the first half.
The Crimson's offense, on the other hand, was not getting quality shots on goal, even though its shot total was not that much less than the Bears' (21-29). But those shots were weak and hurried and almost done out of a lack of a better thing to do with the ball.
Harvard was also having its usual difficulties passing and controlling the ball, which negated the 12-9 advantage it had on draw controls.
Laura Dahmen, Claudia Asano, Holly Rogers, Chris Shortsleeve and Liz Schoyer scored for Harvard, and Keren Gudeman picked up an assist.
The Crimson next travel to Ithaca to take on Cornell on Saturday, the second in a string of three consecutive Ivy games. Between now and then, Harvard has to find a way to pick up the pieces from Providence.
"[Yesterday was] very frustrating," Clark said. "I don't really know where we're supposed to go from here. But we have to, because we have a tough game this Saturday."
G: Harvard--Dahmen, Asano, Rogers, Shortsleeve, Schoyer; Brown--Purdy 2, Hatton 2, Koch 2, Schettini 2, Martin, McDonald, Saint Louis, Rodgers, Roy, Susman. A: Harvard--Gudeman; Brown--Hatton, McDonald, Schettini. S: Harvard--Barghouti 9; Brown--Tavani 8.