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It started out as a battle between Crimson and Green. By the end of the Harvard women’s lacrosse team’s game against Dartmouth, there were two, very different colors marking the players as they departed from Jordan Field.
Black and Blue.
The No. 12 Big Green (9-2, 6-0 Ivy) showed off its offensive prowess in a 14-7 whooping of the Crimson (5-8, 0-5).
Harvard managed to stay in the game during the first half on the strength of a stellar defensive performance, trailing just 4-1 at halftime.
But Dartmouth scored seven goals in the first ten minutes of the second period including a pair from sophomore attack Katey Fahey.
“Dartmouth is an excellent team, they’re a terrific team,” said first-year Harvard coach Sarah Nelson ’94. “We started out the game well, but their speed of play was too much for us.”
Sophomore midfielder Alison Kaveney turned in a strong performance for the Crimson, leading Harvard with two goals, one of which came on a free position shot.
“She’s really picking it up this year,” Nelson said. “She is able to be a force end to end.”
After Dartmouth’s Katieanne Christian scored the first of her two goals at 25:20 of the first period, the Crimson defense held strong, not allowing another goal for almost 13 minutes.
The Big Green scored three goals over the final 12:23 of the half, with two of those coming on free position shots.
“In the first half, we had excellent defense,” said senior co-captain Vanessa Lavely. “But they controlled the ball, and gained momentum. In the second half we dug ourselves a hole we were never able to get out of.”
After halftime, despite a temperature which dipped into the low forties, but Dartmouth only heated up. Christian scored her second goal of the game on a free position shot 1:48 in, as the Big Green proceeded to score 9 out of the first 10 goals of the second half.
Harvard’s only answer during that time was by senior midfielder Jen Brooks, who scored her 18th goal of the season at 25:31.
Trailing 13-2 with 13:16 remaining, junior attackman Catherine Sproul scored her 23rd goal of the season.
Kaveney continued the Crimson offensive flurry netting her second goal of the contest just 46 seconds later. Sophomore attackman Emma Millon rounded out capped off the three goal Harvard run as she finished a feed from freshman midfielder Margaret Yellott.
Freshman midfielder Caroline Hines added the Crimson’s final tally off a free-position shot with just three seconds remaining.
The prettiest goal of the game came near the end of the first period, when Dartmouth attack Molly Jenkins rifled a strike from behind the net right to midfielder Lana Smith, who put it past Crimson goaltender Kathryn Tylander.
Tylander, who saved 3 of 12 shots on goal, was replaced by sophomore Kristin Demorest midway through the second half after giving up nine goals on 19 shots.
The Big Green played without its top goaltender, Devon Wills, who was the fourth in a line of Dartmouth players to come down with a flu-like illness.
It didn’t seem to matter as backup Kelly Roy allowed just six goals in just over 55 minutes of action.
The Big Green had a commanding edge on the ground, picking up 39 of 63 ground balls. Dartmouth out-shot Harvard 27-17.
It also turned in a tremendous performance defensively, utterly stymieing Harvard junior midfielder Casey Owens, who entered the game with a team leading 30 goals. Owens managed just one shot on goal and no points during the contest.
The Big Green’s victory gave it a half game edge in the Ivy League over Princeton. The Crimson fell within a half game of last place Columbia.
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