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The Harvard women’s lacrosse team (4-4, 2-1 Ivy) could finally take a much-needed sigh of relief after junior co-captain goaltender Kelly Weis thwarted the final attempt of a frantic comeback by the Big Green (0-9, 0-3).
“Well we decided to make it interesting,” head coach Lisa Miller remarked. “The ball was on the ground, and Dartmouth just grabbed it and ran to the cage.”
The final stop tallied Weis’s total saves to 10, after the junor played the full 60 minutes.
The Crimson closed out a dominant first half on a strong note by adding to its lead when sophomore attack Marisa Romeo hit the back of the net with only eight seconds remaining in the period.
Romeo’s two first-half goals gave her a team-leading 25 on the season and helped give the Crimson a 7-3 advantage going into the half.
Freshman midfielder Julia Glynn kicked off the scoring for the Crimson nine minutes in, but didn’t stop there, tallying two more assists and collecting five ground balls in the victorious effort.
Midway through through the second period, Dartmouth’s Sarah Byrne fueled the Big Green comeback, netting three goals in 93 seconds, two of her three coming on free-position penalty shots. Byrne ended up tallying four total goals for Dartmouth.
The Big Green edged out Harvard in draw controls, 7-1, in the second period, contributing to the Crimson’s lack of offensive momentum in the final minutes.
“We were struggling to get the draw control, which definitely wasn’t helpful,” said junior co-captain and midfielder Audrey Todd. “So once they had one goal, it kind of strung along into three or four.”
Penalties gave the Big Green its foothold on offense, accounting for five of the team’s eight goals.
“[In the] second half they threw a defensive look at us that we haven’t seen before and haven’t practiced,” Miller said. “I think it really slowed us down so that’s something we’re going to have to work on.”
After the Crimson opened scoring in the opening period, Dartmouth answered the call with two goals of its own to take its only lead for the game. The Big Green’s time to enjoy the lead would be short lived, however, as Harvard was quick to answer on the other end.
“Luckily we were able to settle it down enough to maintain our small lead,” Todd said
.Todd led the Crimson on offense with a hat trick and notched an assist in the first half. The co-captain also registered two ground balls and forced a Dartmouth turnover.
“They were face-guarding Marisa,” Todd said. “She’s obviously a key contributor to our team, but that also opened up a lot of lanes for other people. So I found some lanes early, and I was able to put away some shots.”
The victory was a much-needed win for the Crimson, since the team has suffered its fair share of close losses on the season.
The successful outcome by the Crimson over a struggling Dartmouth team evened Harvard’s record at .500 and pushed the squad to a winning record in its conference, adding momentum as the team heads into the heart of Ivy League play, taking on Penn and Brown in the next two weeks.
“The team seems optimistic going forward in the year, as young players continue to develop.” Miller said. “I’m just pleased to be able to go on the road in a hostile environment and get the win with what is a very young team.”
And the youth not only survived, but shined, with underclassmen netting six goals and tallying four assists on the day.
The Crimson comes off of a tough beginning schedule, with contests against four top-15 teams in the past few weeks contributing to the team’s previous losing record
.“It prepared us for a game like today,” Miller said.“But I don’t know if I thought about [the record] a lot going in.”
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