Record: 5-7, 1-5 Ivy
Ivy Finish: Sixth
Coach: Carole Kleinfelder
Key Players: Co-captains Shana Barghouti, Daphne Clark; Juniors Honor MacNaughton, Keren Gudeman
Any review of the 1997 Harvard women's lacrosse season has to start with the freshmen.
No, they were not the team's best players. But there were seven of them, plus two sophomores that were new to the 19-person Harvard varsity.
It was always known that they had to be the team's identity. The problem was, it took half the season for that to happen.
The Class of 2000 turned from a bunch of non-descript players that had trouble on the transition to individuals with different strengths who helped form a pretty good team.
And it was the end of the season that saw Harvard's best play--a 2-3 stretch that saw losses to No. 2 Loyola and to two of the Ivy's best teams, Yale and Dartmouth, as well as solid victories over Cornell and New Hampshire.
Still, it was not a great season, all things considered. The Crimson finished the year in second-to-last place at 1-5 (5-7 overall), with three of the wins coming in March against lightly regarded Boston College, Boston University and UMass.
That left a big hole in the middle--a five game losing streak that started over Spring Break and lasted until mid-April. Those games included close finishes that Harvard wishes it could have had back (one-goal defeats to Penn and Vanderbilt) and blowout losses that were never really that close (to Princeton, Maryland and Brown).
Throughout these losses, the story was essentially the same. Harvard played good defense and often kept the score close early on, but too many turnovers would force the defense back on its heels.