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Struggling with its fundamentals, the Harvard women’s lacrosse team fought both itself and opponent Connecticut, but ultimately lost 10-4.
Continually outshooting the Huskies (1-4), the Crimson (2-2) was simply unable to find the back of the net.
The frustrating inability to capitalize was aided by Harvard’s repeated difficulty fluidly moving the ball.
“We weren’t executing our passing and catching,” said co-captain Jen Brooks. “But we were definitely hustling.”
The Crimson’s determination and hustle was apparent in its 13 shots on goal in the first period. Yet only one of those, an unassisted goal by sophomore Elaine Belitsos, got up on the scoreboard.
With the score 3-1 and 13 minutes to go in the half, it looked as though the Crimson might rally before halftime. Harvard nearly closed to within one a minute later, but a goal by junior Catherine Sproul was called back.
The Huskies responded with two straight goals making it 5-1 at the half.
“We were getting shots; we just weren’t connecting,” said Crimson coach Sarah Nelson. “One in 13 is not going to cut it in Division I lacrosse.”
The second half showed Harvard was not going to give up. The Crimson came out even more aggressive and continued on the offensive for much of the early second half.
Seven minutes in, junior leading scorer Casey Owens drilled one in, making the score 5-2. Again Harvard looked poised for a possible comeback, but the Huskies responded with four unanswered goals.
As with the first half, the score did not reflect the Crimson’s time spent in the UConn offensive zone. Harvard was still making more shots and outhustling the Huskies.
Midway through the second half the Crimson battled down the field and junior Rory Edwards sent a pass to freshman Liz Gamble who made an impressive behind the back shot on goal. Connecticut junior goalie Jennifer Wong denied that shot just as she had numerous other Harvard attempts.
Aware of the quality game underway by Connecticut’s goalie, the Crimson repeatedly tried to put their shots in the corners and instead found them going wide.
The fact that Harvard managed to score with 6:31 left in the game shows that it never gave up throughout the contest. Sophomore Emma Millon, who is also a Crimson editor, came through with a high shot on a free position goal, making 9-3. Junior Rory Edwards followed three minutes later with her first goal of the season, giving the Crimson its final point with two minutes left to play. The Huskies would put up the last point, closing out the game 10-4.
While frustrated with its inability to put together a 60-minute game, Harvard is glad to be working out the kinks before the beginning of its Ivy League season.
“We’re at a point to be re-evaluating,” Nelson said. “We’re not getting everyone firing at the same time.”
The Crimson plans to use the loss to be prepared for Ivy play.
“We can win any game when we come ready to play,” said co-captain Vanessa Lavely. “It was a 50-50 game. Now we focus on our Ivy games with a clean slate.”
Harvard will start its Ivy season when it takes on Brown at home this Friday, hopefully snagging its first Ivy League and home victory.
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