After overcoming a colossal 7-2 deficit to win in an overtime thriller on Saturday, the Harvard women’s lacrosse team looked to carry that momentum into yesterday’s home opener against Boston College.
Instead, it was the Crimson who watched a big lead slip away.
The Eagles (3-0) trailed 4-1 just 10 minutes into the game, but battled back on the heels of midfielder Carley St. Lucia—who scored three goals and dished out two assists—leading BC to a 9-7 comeback win.
St. Lucia tallied all three of her goals in the first half to keep the Crimson (1-1, 0-0 Ivy) from running away with the game, then added her two assists during a 4-0 second half spurt by BC that put the game out of reach.
“She was one of the players that we were keying in on,” said Harvard coach Sarah Nelson ’94. “We just didn’t do a good enough job matching up against their top players. She really hurt us.”
The Crimson started quickly, scoring the game’s first goal just 1:12 into the game on a free position shot from sophomore midfielder Allison Kaveney.
Then junior midfielder Casey Owens caught fire, scoring four goals in a 12 minute span to put the Crimson ahead 5-2 midway through the first half.
“My teammates were looking for me,” Owens said. “I had a couple of good opportunities. We were executing well as a team.”
“Casey Owens had a great game, there’s no doubt,” Nelson said. “She was pretty much our only attack. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get anyone else going today.”
Despite the large Harvard lead, the Eagles battled back, scoring three unanswered goals—including two by midfielder Meggie O’Neill—to tie the game at five heading into halftime.
Co-captain midfielder Jen Brooks gave the Crimson the lead again just 25 seconds into the second half, but BC stormed back with four consecutive goals to take a commanding 9-6 lead with 13:56 remaining.
The goals capped a 7-1 run by the Eagles since they fell behind 5-2.
“We were just very flat,” said Nelson. “We came out flat and defensively, I don’t think we were seeing the ball very well, I don’t think we were helping each other very well, I think we were a bunch of individuals and it showed.
“We were looking at this as a 50-50 game. We knew it was going to be tough and close. I think that we had an emotional letdown after our game on Saturday. I think that was a big emotional lift for our kids. We’re a young team and we weren’t ready to focus again this soon.”
There would be no late-game heroics this time for the Crimson, who managed just one more goal, a score by sophomore attack Emma Millon with 4:22 remaining on a pass from Caroline Hines, ending the scoring at 9-7.
Harvard won the ground ball battle, 33-31, impressive given that last year BC was first in the nation in this category.
The Crimson also held the Eagles’ star midfielder Jackie Yovankin to just one goal, but St. Lucia’s play was too much for the Harvard defense.
Last weekend’s star, freshman attack Liz Gamble, got the start and helped Harvard build its early lead by assisting Owens’ first goal.
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