In each of its last two matchups, the Harvard women’s lacrosse team has had to contend with a late push from its opponent.
Earlier this week, Stanford mounted a successful comeback attempt at the end of its game against the Crimson, scoring with less than two seconds remaining to eke out a win.
On Sunday, Harvard faced a similar push in its contest against Dartmouth (5-4, 0-3 Ivy League), as the Big Green scored four unanswered goals in the final five minutes of play.
However, Dartmouth’s late efforts would not be enough to overcome a dominating offensive performance from the Crimson. In the end, Harvard (6-4, 3-0 Ivy) came away with the win in Hanover, N.H., beating out the Big Green, 17-12 to remain undefeated in the Ancient Eight.
“It felt good to get another Ivy League win under our belt and see people step up all over the field,” tri-captain midfielder Megan Hennessey said. “It was a full team effort.”
Three Harvard players recorded hat tricks en route to the victory. Senior attacker Marisa Romeo recorded a game-high five scores and two assists. Sunday’s matchup marked the eighth time this season that the senior has netted three or more goals.
Hennessey and tri-captain attacker Maeve McMahon also chipped in hat tricks.
Despite the Crimson’s strong attacking play, the team had something of a late scare, as the Big Green went on an 8-3 run in the final 15 minutes of the contest.
Dartmouth freshman midfielder Katie Bourque kicked off the Big Green streak, picking up a team-high fourth finish of the day with 11:51 left in the game.
Romeo responded three minutes later with her fifth and final score of the afternoon, but Dartmouth senior attacker Courtney Weisse, who is fourth in the conference for goals per game, found the back of the Harvard net twice in less than 30 seconds. Big Green sophomore midfielder Kathryn Giroux scored her second of the game as well to cut the Crimson’s lead to seven.
Sophomore midfielder Caroline Garrity and junior attacker Caroline Ashford gave Harvard some added security with a goal apiece, but Dartmouth refused to give up. Weisse completed her hat trick with just under five minutes remaining, and the Big Green would score three more goals before the final whistle.
Dartmouth’s final four goals capped a second stanza in which the Big Green outshot the Crimson, 19-15.
Luckily for Harvard, the first half could not have been more different. The team was able to weather Dartmouth’s comeback attempt after outpacing the Big Green, 9-2, in the opening period.
“I was proud of the way we built a lead early today and hung onto it for the win,” sophomore midfielder Keeley MacAfee said.
Dartmouth kicked off the scoring with two goals in the opening five minutes, sandwiched around McMahon’s first goal of the day.