Had it been their final game, the Harvard field hockey's team's 3-2 victory over Dartmouth Saturday would have been a storybook ending to its season, a wrapping up of loose ends. DARTMOUTH 1 HARVARD 2
After a season full of close losses and
"This was a terrific win for us," co-captainTara LaSovage said. "We've been playing well butagainst really tough opposition the past two weeksand it was really rewarding to finally get a winafter three losses."
Nothing could have been more typical of thisseason than that most of the heroics came from,who else, captain Judy Collins, who added to herrecord totals with two more goals and the overtimegame winner.
Harvard (8-8, 4-2 Ivy) had extra motivationagainst a Dartmouth team with very similarstatistics. A Crimson loss would have ended itshopes of a bid in the ECAC Tournament, which onlyoffers spots to teams with records over .500.
The first half passed without any scores, evenboth on the pitch and in virtually everystatistical category, as the squads battled it outmostly in the midfield. However, the tempo pickedup dramatically in the second half.
Dartmouth (7-9, 2-5) struck first on awell-executed corner three minutes after thebreak. Freshman Kate Alexander fired a set fromjunior Kristen Scopaz past Harvard juniorgoalkeeper Anya Cowan and into the back of thenet.
The Crimson struck back three minutes laterwith Collins' close-quarter genius on fulldisplay. The co-captain broke through the defense,nestled the ball in the curve of the stick, andfound the room to sling a hard, backhand shot pastDartmouth keeper Brittany D'Augustine.
The exchange of goals sparked intense action,with both teams missing several excellent scoringopportunities. At the 17:30 mark the Big Greenbroke through again with Scopaz, its leadingscorer, pouncing on a loose ball and driving itinto the net for the go-ahead.
The Crimson response was to immediately step upthe intensity. Collins barely missed on alongcross from junior Katie Schoolwerth, chipping ashot just wide. Soon after, Collins drew a cornerand put the Crimson in position to notch theequalizer.
Schoolwerth fired a shot towards the goal whichwas deflected by sophomore Kate Nagle and pastD'Augustine. Nagle celebrated effusively dishingout chest bumps a la former New York Knick CharlesOakley.
The final 13 minutes saw several opportunitiesthat both teams failed to capitalize on, mostnotably another corner play for Harvard as timeexpired.
The excitement continued into a overtime, asthe chances began to mount for both sides, newlyreduced from 11 to seven players.
The Crimson finally broke through in the secondovertime. Sophomore Liz Sarles initiated from herdefensive position. Finding herself uncovered sheoverlapped and found a hole in the defense on theright side.
She fired a shot on goal, which Collinsredirected for the game winner. Much rejoicingensued.
The Crimson now has a good chance to make thepostseason and write an even better finish to itsseason if it can beat Brown and get offered a bidto the ECAC tournament.
"Brown is a huge game for us, a chance to goover .500 and solidify second place in the Ivyleague," LaSovage said. "And it would be awesomefor the seniors and also for the players lookingahead to next year if we could make the playoffsand really finish strong."
ScoringDar--Alexander (Scopaz, Worley) 38:03.Har--Collins (unassisted) 41:07.Dar--Scopaz (unassisted) 52:30.Har--Nagle (Schoolwerth) 56:49.Har--Collins (Sarles 91:27.