Despite a big start to the second half, the Harvard women’s lacrosse team (3-4, 1-1 Ivy) dropped a game to a visiting Stanford squad (5-1) on Friday night.
After a slow first half ending with a score of 5-5, the Crimson women came out strong with four goals within the first ten minutes of the second half to go up two goals. But despite the early second half Harvard surge, the Cardinals locked the game down in the last fifteen minutes of the half, going on an 8-1 run en route to a 15-10 win over the home team.
The first half of the match began slowly for the Crimson, with the offense only scoring two goals, resulting in a 5-2 Cardinal lead with six minutes left before the break. The team struggled to hold onto the ball early on, with Stanford holding possession for most of the first half. Harvard rallied, however, with a big goal from freshman midfielder Julia Glynn off the quick assist from sophomore attack Marisa Romeo to put the Crimson on the board for the first time in over 17 minutes.
“Shots were falling at the end of the first half, and a lot of them were catch shots,” Harvard coach Lisa Miller said. “They were opening up…we were pressuring, and the middle opened up. That’s what were looking for.”
The Crimson would struggle with penalties, matching the Cardinals with one apiece in the first half, but tallying three in the second. The team would also total 36 fouls to Stanford’s 28.
The team closed off the half with goals from junior co-captain and midfielder Audrey Todd and sophomore midfielder Maeve McMahon in the last three minutes to enter the second half tied at five.
“I thought we started off kind of slow, and even though we didn’t have possession of the ball that often, we managed to finish our shots towards the end of the half, which was something we were struggling with at the beginning,” Todd said.
The Crimson saw a big night from Romeo, who scored three and assisted on another three. Junior co-captain and goalie Kelly Weis tallied nine saves to keep the game close for the majority of the clock.
Despite going down early and struggling to keep possession of the ball, the Crimson capitalized off most of Stanford’s turnovers in the first half. The team struggled, however, when it came to draw controls. The team only secured 5-of-12 draws in the first half and 6-of-15 in the second. Harvard executed 11-of-15 clears and totaled 11 turnovers over the contest.
“[Stanford played] fast, and we’re a little thin through the midfield,” Miller said. “So we can go really hard for about 45 minutes and then you can see we were losing our legs on the draw control, we lose our legs defensively, and then we get a little panicky at the other side.”
Harvard would come out shooting in the second half, with McMahon and Glynn either assisting or scoring four of the Crimsons five goals. The team would rally for four goals within the first 10 minutes of the half but would be limited to only one in the last 20 minutes.
After going up 12-10 in the second half, the Crimson struggled to recover following two penalties against Harvard within 20 seconds of each other. Two players down, Stanford capitalized off the opportunity with three goals over the penalty period and another three after that to close out the game.
“I think we just had a couple of bad turnovers at a crucial time, and then [Stanford] capitalized on that,” Todd said. “After that, we were really struggling to get the draw control, so we didn’t have possession enough to get the goals back and get back in the game.”
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