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W. Lacrosse Earns First Win of Season

By Timothy J. Mcginn, Crimson Staff Writer

Win No. 1 is in the books—you can exhale now.

The Harvard women’s lacrosse team escaped from Alumni Stadium with its first victory of the season yesterday afternoon, holding off a strong charge from host B.C. to win 9-8.Up by six goals with 17 minutes remaining, the Crimson squad (1-2) held its largest lead of the game and appeared poised to run away with a victory while spoiling the Eagles’ (1-1) home-opener. However, under intense pressure to score, B.C. broke through and seized the momentum from the Crimson.

“I don’t think we changed anything,” Crimson freshman Casey Orr said. “They just knew how much time they had left.”

B.C.’s three-pronged attack of sophomores Carley St. Lucia, Jackie Yovankin, and Susie Breaznell scored five unanswered scores, cutting Harvard’s lead to one at 9-8 with 11 seconds to play. The trio recorded all of its team’s eight goals.

Fortunately for Harvard, the game clock was the Crimson’s best friend yesterday. The Eagles ran out of time on their comeback attempt.

Harvard intentionally slowed the pace of play in the second half in order to run time off the clock. For a while, the strategy worked well. Harvard managed to maintain possession, spreading players on the field while moving the ball from side to side.

“We were trying to hold on to the ball and keep possession when we had a four or five goal lead,” co-captain Katie Shaughnessy said. “Perhaps we weren’t going to goal when we should have.”

Errant passes and pressure from the Eagles resulted in turnovers leading to many of BC’s goals.

“They were pressuring us at the very end,” Orr said. “And I think that was what was causing the turnovers.”

The Crimson survived only because of two bursts of energy at the beginning of each half. Harvard scored four goals in the first 13 minutes of each half as the Crimson stormed to a 9-3 lead.

“We were capable of doing that, but we just haven’t done it in the past two games,” Shaughnessy said. “We were really playing together and connecting on all our passes.”

Sophomores Elaine Belitsos and Casey Owens led the Crimson attack with two goals apiece. Belitsos also added two assists.

Harvard’s final tally, which proved to be the game winner, came on a goal from freshman Emma Millon, who received a pass from Belitsos in front of the goal and, with a one-touch shot, sent the ball past BC’s keeper.

Holding down the fort in goal, junior keeper Laura Mancini turned away 13 shots, more than twice her season total prior to the game.

“Our goalie Laura Mancini played phenomenally in the first half,” Shaughnessy said.

The Crimson begins its Ivy League schedule next Wednesday, when it travels to Providence to take on Brown.

“It should be a tough physical game,” Shaughnessy said. “I think they play pretty similarly to us. We need to start playing the way we can play both the first and the second half.”

—Staff writer Timothy J. McGinn can be reached at mcginn@fas.harvard.edu.

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