Curtis Scores Four Times Against 'Cats

Crimson nets 13 goals in first half en route to double-digit victory

Rachel A Strauss

Though the wind was cold, junior midfielder Natalie Curtis was on fire, tallying four first-half goals as part of a 13-tally outburst by the Crimson in the opening frame. Harvard led by 12 at halftime, and its defense held strong all afternoon, allowing j

The forecast might have called for freezing temperatures this weekend, but the Harvard women’s lacrosse team really turned up the heat in Sunday’s 16-3 domination of Quinnipiac at Jordan Field.

The Crimson offense—led by junior Natalie Curtis’ four goals—scored 12 unanswered points to close out the first half.

But it was truly a full team effort.

Harvard’s defense kept the Bobcat offense to nine shots on goal. The Crimson (2-3) also forced 17 turnovers and topped Quinnipiac (2-3), 17-12, in ground balls.

“Going into this game, we had something to prove,” Curtis said. “We were able to go on big runs but still remain poised and confident.”

The attack got off to an early start, as freshman Alexandra Comstock won the first possession battle and Curtis dumped the ball past Bobcat goaltender Hannah Nelson just 55 seconds into the game.

At 3:38 in the period, Quinnipiac’s Nicole Fiore responded with a free-position shot to even the score, but junior Caroline Simmons answered with a quick score to take the lead for good.

Curtis and fellow junior Tara Schoen added to the Harvard cushion with two goals 17 seconds apart to give the Crimson a 10-1 lead.

Harvard closed the first half up, 13-1, and 7-for-8 on clear attempts, with only three turnovers and ahead 7-2 on ground balls.

“We really picked up our speed,” Simmons said. “After a couple of bad losses, we really wanted to win.”

Ashley Valentine and Lyndsey Banach each scored early second-period goals for the Bobcats to cut the Crimson’s lead to 10, 13-3.

But sophomore Kaitlin Martin answered with two goals to return to the 12-point lead.

Harvard maintained the possession advantage in the second half, breaking up eight of Quinnipiac’s 12 clear attempts.

Simmons closed out the Crimson offensive barrage with just under 10 minutes to go, giving Harvard the 16-3 lead that it held on to as time expired.

The Crimson attack showed some depth, as eight players shared the scoring.

Martin put in three goals and an assist, with six turnovers on the defensive end. Freshman Sara Flood scored once and added two helpers.

Comstock had a pair of goals, and sophomore Kelly Alverson came off the bench to net a goal.

“We’ve really been working on playing together on the attack,” Simmons said. “We’ve worked on spreading out, setting each other up, seeing open shots. And it’s really paid off.”

Sophomore midfielder Sarah Bancroft contributed to both sides of play with a pair of goals and a caused turnover.

Freshman goaltender Katherine Martino needed only six saves to get her second win of the season.

With this win behind them, Harvard’s focus now shifts to next Sunday’s home game against tough non-conference opponent Syracuse.

“We’re planning on maintaining this intensity,” Curtis said. “Going into the big Syracuse game next Sunday, it’s good to be 2-3 instead of 1-4.”