The Harvard field hockey team (2-0) opened its 2014 season with two games this weekend, emerging victorious against Bryant (0-4) on Friday night, and over Holy Cross (2-2) on Sunday afternoon at Jordan Field.
HARVARD 4, HOLY CROSS 0
The Crimson maintained control of the offensive end throughout Sunday’s game, taking 24 shots while limiting the Crusaders to a mere six.
“One of our main goals was to come out strong in the first five minutes,” captain Caitlin Rea said. “We were working on competing from the start. That’s what kept our tempo up the whole game.”
Harvard coach Tjerk Van Herwaarden especially noted the control his team demonstrated over Holy Cross, and he predicts the competitive, quick play the Crimson displayed will be evident going forward.
“Some nervousness is normal on the first game day,” van Herwaarden said. “That slowed us down against Bryant. That’s gone and I think we are clearly growing to the level we want to be and today was a great step in the right direction.”
The first goal over Holy Cross came from senior Kaitlyn Boudah in under 10 minutes. Boudah received the ball smoothly from senior Catriona McDonald, finishing right in front of the goal.
Freshman Hannah Wellington scored two goals during the first half as well, with her second coming unassisted as the forward dribbled through Bryant’s defense.
Rea capped off the day’s scoring on a penalty corner at 61:34 with assists from classmate Noel Painter and junior Madison Jung.
HARVARD 3, BRYANT 2
While Harvard looked like a completely different team in Sunday’s game, dominating offensively against Holy Cross from the opening whistle, one thing was clear at the weekend’s conclusion: the large presence of young talent on the field.
Before Wellington scored her two goals in Sunday’s game, a sophomore took center stage on Friday night as Marissa Balleza punched in a pair of scores.
“The team creates a great environment,” van Herwaarden said. “When the freshmen join each year, the seniors know that going to Harvard is overwhelming and the least overwhelming area of your Harvard experience should be the field hockey team. We’re all out here for the same goal. That creates a bond that I think showed today.”
In addition to Wellington’s goals, van Herwaarden recognized the importance of plays by sophomore Elizabeth Warner and freshman Ellie Cookson from the midfield as well.
“The whole team deserves a really big compliment of being able to create a situation where everyone could play,” van Herwaarden said. “All the freshmen played. The biggest thing was that we really came out as a team, and deserved this win together.
On Friday night, the Bulldogs started the game with a goal off a penalty corner in the first 10 minutes of play, followed by three additional shots and pressure on the offensive end.
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