A playoff game. A date with an undefeated opponent in Ivy League play. A trip to the final round on the line. This was the situation the Harvard women’s lacrosse team (8-8, 4-3 Ivy) found itself faced with on Friday when it matched up with No. 11 Princeton (14-3, 7-0).
Despite keeping the game knotted up at four after the first half, the Crimson ended up falling by a score of 15-8 at in Princeton, N.J., concluding Harvard's season. On the flip side, Princeton went on to defeat Penn in the Ivy League final two days later.
Both teams came into the semifinal riding a winning streak. The Crimson had picked up two straight home victories, besting UMass Lowell and Yale by a combined score of 27-5. The Tigers were in the midst of a four-game unbeaten streak, last tasting defeat at the hands of No. 1 Maryland on April 8. The teams had previously met in the regular season, a bout at Princeton that was won by the home team, 17-12.
The Crimson found itself in an early 2-0 hole before it rebounded with four unanswered tallies, grabbing a 4-2 edge. Two of those goals came from freshman midfielder Julia Glynn, who came into the contest the reigning Ivy League Co-Offensive Player of the Week. Glynn was also named to the All-Ivy second team in her debut season.
But the Harvard lead would not live to see the end of the half. Princeton midfielder Olivia Hompe fired a shot past Crimson junior goaltender Kelly Weis for an unassisted score with 1:35 remaining in the first half, tying the game at four.
The Crimson never led in the second half, as Princeton went ahead with a goal just before three minutes after the break. Harvard was able to tie the game on an unassisted tally by junior midfielder Audrey Todd.
Then, the floodgates opened. The Tigers struck for nine straight scores, giving them a commanding 14-5 advantage. Harvard would only get as close as seven the rest of the way in the defeat.
The Crimson's Glynn added an additional second-half goal, giving her a team-high three on the day. For Princeton, Hompe finished with six of the team’s 15 tallies. Tigers midfielder Anya Gersoff added a hat trick of her own, picking up all three scores in the second half.
There were three penalties in the contest, all going against Crimson players in the second half. Sophomore midfielder Megan Hennessey collected two second-half yellow cards, resulting in her being ejected from play with two seconds to go.
Harvard was able to win the turnover battle, only committing six in the game compared to Princeton’s nine. The Crimson’s 19 fouls were also four fewer than the Tiger’s total of 23. Harvard also outshot its opponents in the match by a line of 29 of 25.
In terms of the ever-important goalkeeping battle, however, Princeton came out on top. Tiger sophomore Ellie DeGarmo managed 12 saves, eight of which came in her team’s dominant second half. In comparison, Weis was only able to accumulate three saves in the second period and nine total for the contest.