After taking a 7-5 lead headed into halftime against the fifth-ranked team in the nation, the Harvard women’s lacrosse team (2-2) saw Syracuse (7-2) power its way back into the game to take the contest, 11-10.
In a less than two minute span, the Orange surpassed the Crimson with three consecutive goals to take an 8-7 lead with 25:47 remaining. Led by goals from freshman midfielder Nekele McCall and sophomore midfielder Maeve McMahon, Harvard remained within one headed into the final 11 minutes of play.
Strong defense ruled the day for the next 10 minutes, as neither team could find the back of the net. But that changed with less than 90 seconds remaining, when Syracuse’s Ella Thorpe netted an insurance goal on her only shot of the day to put the Orange up two.
In what was also her first and only shot of the day, the Crimson’s Alexis Nicolia scored after drawing control of the ball to pull Harvard within one with just under a minute remaining.
The Crimson made things interesting in the final sequence, with Emma Ford picking up a ground ball with 48 seconds remaining. The ensuing action eventually led to McMahon, who finished the contest with a game-high three goals, taking a shot at Syracuse goaltender Kelsey Richardson with 35 ticks to go.
And with her fourth save of the day, Richardson staved off the potential equalizer to clinch the victory for the Orange.
On the opposite end of the field, Harvard junior goalie Kelly Weis had a busy day in the net, stopping 12 of the the 23 shots that came her way to set a season high for saves.
Both teams tied in first-half shots with 13. However, Syracuse came out of the break with those three quick goals, and outshot the Crimson by a tally of 13-9 in the second half.
Sophomore attack Marisa Romeo and junior midfielder Audrey Todd both finished with two goals on four shots apiece.
The game against the Orange was the second ranked team the Crimson has faced this year; earlier in the month, Harvard fell by a score of 13-9 to No. 8 Virginia.
—Staff writer Caleb Y. Lee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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