After surrendering six unanswered goals to New Hampshire, the Harvard women’s lacrosse team was in danger of having its record drop below .500.
But that’s when sophomore Jennifer VanderMeulen did what she does best, scoring the tying and go-ahead goal to lead the team to victory.
“Being down one and being tied, I knew that someone had to step up and put some shots away because we were having some troubles with their goalie,” said VanderMeulen after the contest.
Coming out of the half down one to the Wildcats, VanderMeulen was fouled going to goal and awarded a free-position shot. The attacker fired the attempt past the New Hampshire goalkeeper to even the score at six. Fifteen minutes later. VanderMeulen found herself with another free-position opportunity. And this time, the sophomore bounced it into the back of the net for the winning goal.
Two days later, Harvard was defeated by Virginia on Sunday afternoon, but VanderMeulen continued to score in bunches, finishing with five goals in the 19-18 loss.
When the Crimson was fighting back from a 10-5 deficit, VanderMeulen scored two quick goals to bring the Crimson within three just minutes into the second half. The sophomore also finished second on the team with two draw controls.
“This past weekend our team showed a lot of fight,” VanderMeulen said. “Against New Hampshire, being down 6-0, I think most teams, or even our team last year, might have given up. We didn’t let down, and we knew that we could dig ourselves out of it. Same thing against Virginia, They came out very strong, and we weren’t really ready, and yet we were able to close the gap and almost knock them off.”
VanderMeulen currently leads the team with 25 goals this season, netting a combined eight this past weekend.
The sophomore also sits atop the Ancient Eight in scoring, averaging 3.12 goals per game. But this weekend VanderMeulen took her scoring to a new level.
“Jenn really stepped it up this weekend,” junior co-captain Melanie Baskind said. “She’s been a consistent scorer since last year, but we were counting on her more than ever these past couple of games.”
On Friday, VanderMeulen led the scoring with a hat trick including the winning goal with 10:31 left to play in the game.
She was successful on two of three free-position shots and three of her total five shots.
She also led the team with three ground balls.
“Jenn is always aggressive going to goal, and that really helped in our game against New Hampshire,” sophomore Danielle Tetreault said, “She scored that buzzer beater at the end of the first half to make it 6-5 and that gave us momentum going into halftime.”
The momentum carried throughout the second half, as Harvard continued to tally scores and prevent New Hampshire from getting on the board.
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