The five-hour plane ride to California, and ensuing the three-hour time difference did not seem to leave sophomore Danielle Tetreault jet lagged.
In contrast, Tetreault semmed energized as she helped the Harvard women's lacrosse team start the season off with a bang against No. 6 Stanford.
Tetreault sparked the Crimson’s offense, scoring a game- and career-high six goals. While Harvard was ultimately defeated 18-17, Tetreault’s performance in the game should certainly be a wake up call for Harvard’s future opponents.
“I don’t think anyone is surprised to see how well Danielle is doing this year,” junior tri-captain Melanie Baskind says. “She came on very strong at the end of last spring and worked really hard this offseason to get to where she is now.”
“At the beginning of last year I played attack because I came into the season with mono, so I didn’t have my endurance where it should have been.” Tetreault explains. “At the end of the season I switched to mid because I got [it] back.”
The midfielder, in addition to tucking six goals past the Cardinal goaltender, released seven shots, recovered two ground balls, went two-for-two on free position shots, and caused a turnover.
The dominant performance earned the sophomore Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week.
The sophomore midfielder’s early success hints that the Crimson will have a powerful offensive threat at midfield this season.
“I think that [through] having a season behind me, I’ve gained more confidence as a player,” Tetreault says.
In addition to her prior playing experience, Tetreault believes she came in healthier and stronger this year, allowing her to make an early impact.
“I worked out with the team all off-season.” Tetreault says. “Over winter break, I was able to work out with some of my teammates right before we came back for the season, which I think helped a lot.”
After the loss last Monday, Tetreault carried her momentum down to Ithaca, N.Y, where Harvard met its second opponent, and first Ivy League challenger of the season, Cornell. The sophomore midfielder helped lead the team to a 13-12 win, with two crucial goals and an assist.
Displaying her competitive drive, the sophomore netted the game-winner with 7:33 left on the clock.
“I think everyone on my team has helped me improve,” Tetreault says. “We all help each other improve. We all push each other and when one system gets better, the other system gets better too.”
Tetreault is one half of a dangerous sophomore duo. The other half is attacker Jennifer VanderMeulen, last year’s Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
The two sophomores have scored a combined 14 of the teams 30 goals in the first two contests of the season against Stanford and Cornell. Tetreault currently leads the team in goals and points with eight goals and one assist.
“Last year Jen had a huge season,” Tetreault says. “[Coach Miller] warned us that teams are going to be stepping up against her, double and triple teaming her this year. She told us that [sophomore teammate] Miceala [Cyr] and I were going to have to step up and bring more of a threat to the offense.”
Tetreault has definitely proven thus far that she is up for the challenge of being the offensive threat for which her coach, and team, is looking.
The young talent and experienced returners will ensure a competitive season for the Crimson lacrosse team. The team will face a strong schedule and will look for leaders like Tetreault to keep the team focused.
“[Tetreault] is someone who we can count on to step up in important situations,” Baskind adds. “She has grown so much as a player but also as a leader on this team…With 11 freshmen, the sophomores have really had to step up and help set the tone for the younger girls, and Danielle has certainly risen to the occasion in that regard.”
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