With less than eight minutes left in the Harvard women’s lacrosse team’s game against New Hampshire, co-captain Audrey Todd found the back of the net to extend the Crimson’s lead to 12-5. The senior’s third goal of the game seemed to all but wrap up the contest.
The Wildcats did not go down without a fight, however, staging a late game comeback that saw Harvard’s lead dwindle to two with less than a minute remaining. But ultimately, the Crimson (4-1, 1-0 Ivy) held off the late-game comeback on Saturday at Jordan Field to defeat UNH (2-5), 12-11.
“We collapsed at the end, but I credit UNH on their fight and not giving up,” junior attacker Marisa Romeo said. “We had a really balanced scoring attack with a lot of assisted goals which is really good.”
After a low scoring first half on both sides, the Harvard offense came out firing on all cylinders offensively in the second half. The Crimson started the half with an onslaught of scores, staging a 7-3 run to push its two-goal halftime lead to six. Sophomore attacker Eliza Guild and senior midfielder Alexis Nicolia netted two goals each, while freshman midfielder Keeley MacAfee recorded a score for Harvard as well.
With 7:36 left in the game, the offense seemed to have put the game out of reach for the visiting Wildcats. However, the effort of New Hampshire sophomore Krissy Schafer did not allow for the Crimson to cruise to victory, recording a hat trick in the final eight minutes of the game, part of an UNH 6-0 run that pulled New Hampshire within one with nine seconds remaining. But the Wildcats were unable to find a last-second goal in the closing seconds, as Sophomore midfielder Julia Glynn won the draw, all but securing the win for Harvard.
“You always have to expect a team to fight back. It came down to scrappy ground balls and draw controls at the end,” Glynn said.
Harvard won the groundball battle with 15-10 advantage over the Wildcats, while New Hampshire won the advantage in draw control 15-12.
The scoring started off slow for both squads, with UNH holding a 1-0 lead after 10 minutes of play. Glynn finally opened the scoring for the Crimson with her ninth for the season more than 11 minutes into the tilt.
Harvard went on to take the lead against the Wildcats after a pair of assisted goals from junior attacker Maeve McMahon and another goal from junior attacker Marisa Romeo. Romeo leads the team in goals having found the back of the net 11 times so far this season.
Todd was critical in the win on Saturday, scoring a hat trick. The co-captain’s three scores was her season high and brought her season tally to eight.
“I know that Audrey is a great cutter and great shooter...she always knows I’m looking for her so she’s always ready. I was really happy we connected on a few plays,” Romeo said.
Weis’ seven saves in the game earned her the fifth best saves total in a career with 367 total saves, which was just enough to squeak out the win.
“The defense remained calm and stuck to the team game plan. Everyone was working together,” said Glynn.
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