The Harvard field hockey team earned two big wins on its weekend road trip, following up a 2-1 double-overtime shootout victory at Yale (2-5, 0-1 Ivy) on Saturday with a 5-3 win over UMass Lowell (5-4, 0-1 America East) on Sunday.
On Saturday, the score in New Haven was notched at one goal apiece after 100 minutes of play, setting up a game-deciding shootout. In the second round of the shootout, senior Elizabeth Jacobson scored to put the Crimson (5-2, 1-0 Ivy) up, 1-0. Then after Yale tied it up in the fourth round on freshman Marissa Medici’s tally, Jacobson put the game away by scoring the winning goal in the seventh round.
“Definitely beating Yale was a huge thing for us, as the first in Ivy League play,” Jacobson said. “It kept our heads up high.”
Jacobson proceeded to follow up her game-clinching performance by scoring two goals on Sunday afternoon against the River Hawks.
HARVARD 5, UMASS LOWELL 3
Harvard scored twice in a span of two minutes and put up three tallies overall in the first half, never looking back en route to a two-goal win in Lowell.
The River Hawks scored twice late in the second half to pull within two goals, but the early deficit proved to be too much to overcome.
“We kept shooting on goal,” co-captain midfielder Caroline Code said. “We had a lot more quality shots.”
The Crimson only had nine shots on goal all day, a drastic reduction from Saturday’s number, but the quality of the shots was reflected in the larger number of shots that went in.
Jacobson picked up where she left off on Saturday, scoring in the 20th minute to put Harvard up, 1-0. Two minutes later, junior forward Sarah Finnemore scored her first goal of the season off of a corner rebound.
Even with a two-goal advantage, the Harvard offense was unrelenting. Junior forward Marissa Balleza continued her hot streak by scoring her team-leading seventh goal of the season on a breakaway chip shot just before halftime, making the score 3-0.
After the break, UML got on the board in the 41st minute, but Harvard took the tally back in the 49th minute to retain its thre-goal advantage. The Crimson was able to stretch the lead to 5-1 before holding off the River Hawk’s rallying effort.
The weekend sweep extended the Crimson’s winning streak to four games.
“Staying on a win streak definitely keeps the motivation going,” Jacobson said. “I’m very excited for the rest of the season.”
HARVARD 2, YALE 1
All day long, Harvard dominated when it came to shots, outshooting the Bulldogs, 33-9, with 17 of those shots on goal versus Yale’s five.
Bulldogs’ junior goalie Emilie Katz managed to hold the Crimson at bay with 16 saves, but ultimately, it was not enough, as Harvard was able to slip by in double overtime.
“We hustled,” Code said. “Our game plan was to stick to our positioning, to shut down their lanes, and move with the ball.”
The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard first in the 14th minute of the game. However, 48 minutes later, Balleza cast the game into a tie after converting an assist from freshman forward Kathleen Young.
The game continued with Yale and the Crimson neck and neck. Then in the final minute, Jacobson came up with one final chance to break the tie. However, Jacobson’s shot attempt from a penalty corner was deflected by Katz in the final few seconds. Even in the two overtime periods, Katz was able to fend off Harvard’s forward pressure with eight saves resulting in a penalty shootout.
During the shootout, Jacobson helped the Crimson gain the lead early with a goal in the second round.
“I really love shootouts,” Jacobson said with a laugh. “I just trusted my gut and took a shot.”
However, the Bulldogs responded in the fourth round, when Medici found the back of the net. With the fifth and final round of the shootout ending with both teams not scoring, the teams traded opportunities one shot a time. After a sixth round of no goals, it was Jacobson who clinched the win for Harvard with her seventh-round shot. The following Yale shooter was unable to follow through with an equalizing goal, resulting in a hard-fought win for the Crimson.
“It’s really awesome to open up Ivy League play with a win over Yale,” Code said. “But we like to take it one game at a time. We like to say the most important game is the next one.”
—Staff writer Amanda X. Fang can be reached at email@example.com.