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PROVIDENCE, R.I.--It has been a rough week for defending Ivy League champions.
The Harvard women's field hockey team did its part to turn the tables on the 1999 Ivy champs with an impressive 1-0 victory over Brown (3-2, 0-2 Ivy). The Brown football team and Harvard women's soccer team, both Ivy champions a year ago, also lost on an upset-filled Saturday in Providence.
On Warren Roof, the Crimson field hockey team (5-1, 2-0 Ivy) got all the offense it would need on an unassisted goal from sophomore forward Philomena Gambale at 14:53 of the first half.
Gambale's goal came after a penalty corner from co-captain Liz Sarles forced the Brown goalie to make a sprawling save and left her on the ground and out of position.
Gambale leads the team in scoring with six goals in six games this season.
Although the shots on goal were close, with Harvard holding a slight 12-11 edge, the Crimson held a clear advantage in penalty corners with 13 compared to only five for Brown.
The Crimson had a series of great opportunities to extend its lead midway through the second half after a string of five penalty corners came within just minutes of one another.
Throughout the second half, Harvard did an excellent job of maintaining pressure in the Bears' zone.
With the Crimson threatening, the Brown defense was forced into drawing penalties which continued to give Harvard great opportunities to score.
Early in the second half, co-captain Maisa Badawy had a chance to score on a penalty corner.
After Brown junior goaltender Annie Owens stopped a penalty corner taken by Sarles, Badawy swooped in and lifted a high shot off the post and wide.
Badawy had another top-notch game at both ends of the field, leading the team's transition game along with fellow freshman midfielder Jen Ahn.
Warren Roof, the home of the Brown field hockey team, is located on the roof of the athletic complex, and in one of the game's more humorous moments, Badawy lifted a clearing shot over the wall and down several stories into the parking lot below.
Freshman goaltender Katie Zacarian once again played well, registering eight saves to earn her second career shutout.
With less than a minute remaining in regulation, Zacarian was forced to charge out of the net to stop a dangerous Bear scoring opportunity, and with time expiring, the Crimson defense successfully stopped a penalty corner to preserve the win.
Under similar pressure with less than a minute remaining in the first half, Zacarian was forced to make another spectacular save on a tipped shot from senior Cara Gardner, the 1999 Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
In the first half, both teams did an superb job of clearing the ball from their own zones and forced the game to be played largely at midfield.
For the Crimson, sophomore back Katie Scott had a good defensive game, especially in the first half where she was called upon to clear several potential Bears scoring opportunities.
Harvard's next game is Wednesday at home on Jordan field against No. 10 UMass.
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