Tigers Make It An Even Dozen

Harvard loses to Princeton for the 12th straight time

In terms of championships and the postseason, this one didn’t mean as much to Harvard.

For the Crimson, though, losing to Princeton always hurts.

The Tigers’ Candi Arner scored at 7:27 of the first overtime period for a 2-1 win at Jordan Field, sending the Harvard field hockey team (5-9, 1-4 Ivy) to its eighth straight loss.

It was the team’s 12th consecutive loss to Princeton (7-8, 6-0), which clinched the Ivy League title with the win.

The Crimson had grabbed a 1-0 lead at 20:29 when captain midfielder Jen McDavitt scored on the third of three consecutive penalty corner attempts.

The goal ignited the team which, until that point, had been on the defensive for most of the half.

“We were goal-starved,” Harvard coach Sue Caples said. “It was great execution. We called for a backdoor pass. It gave us some momentum, let us play more attacking.”

Before scoring the go-ahead goal, McDavitt had briefly left the game with a minor injury.

“My knee got hit and then I bumped heads with this girl,” McDavitt said. “I got a little dizzy, but I was fine.”

Her tally, more importantly, gave the Crimson the lead heading into the second half—a rare sight in an offensively famished season.

“We came into the first half with great energy,” McDavitt said. “It’s finding that kind of energy and maintaining it throughout the game. We definitely need to find out what is going to do it for us in the second half.”

The second frame would be different from the first, however. The Tigers launched relentless assaults on the Crimson goal, finally finding the equalizer after a penalty corner at 54:28.

Princeton dominated after the intermission, out-shooting Harvard by a 15-2 margin and producing chance after chance to score.

“We played very tentative in the second half,” Caples said. “We let Princeton step up and set the tempo...We need to learn how to play with the lead and that comes with having that opportunity.”

Princeton attackers twice whiffed on shots near the goal, and the Crimson got great play from sophomore goaltender Siobhan Connolly. Connolly was starting in place of injured freshman keeper Kelly Knoche, and made several terrific saves while protecting Harvard’s lead for most of the second half.

“Siobhan played great,” Caples said. “She stepped up to the challenge and she was brilliant. I’m really proud of her. She has been working very hard and was prepared for this opportunity.”

Knoche was injured during the Crimson’s 4-0 loss to Boston College on Wednesday, and is currently day-to-day.

Connolly’s strong play kept Harvard in the game, and McDavitt, the team’s high scorer, nearly won it near the end of regulation. She dribbled down towards the Tigers’ goal and juked out the goaltender.

The Princeton defenders, however, were just able to knock the ball away.

“Jen’s just a warrior,” Caples said. “She would like to carry every team member on the back if she could. She is a great leader, a great captain. She leaves it all out on the field and that is all you can ask for.”

The Crimson will welcome Boston University on Wednesday at 7 p.m., and will have its final home game of the year this Saturday against Dartmouth.