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After sweeping its weekend’s opponents, Yale and Lafayette, by a combined 8-2 score line, No. 14 Harvard (6-2) traveled to Worcester, Mass., for a mid-week face off against Holy Cross (5-4). Despite the team’s recent run of success, senior midfielder and co-captain Hannah Wellington stressed the importance of continuing to approach each game one at a time.
“One thing we always talk about as a team is taking every game as it comes,” Wellington said.
“We always want to focus on ourselves and tell ourselves that this is the next game; this is the next problem that we are going to overcome as a team.”
After a blistering start, the Crimson eventually overcame the Crusaders 7-0 to continue its hot start to the season.
Harvard head coach Tjerk van Herwaarden noted his team’s relience on a collective effort to secure the decisive victory.
“One aspect which has been working well has been our ability to rotate people in,” van Herwaarden said. “When we do that, we aren’t compromising ourselves at any part of the field. That’s great to see.”
Harvard’s offensive onslaught began at the sound of the whistle.
After firing off seven shots in the first eight minutes of play, the Crimson was finally able to find the back of the net.
In the ninth minute, sophomore midfielder Bente van Vlijmen played a pass to Wellington, whose shot beat the Holy Cross goalkeeper for the opening goal.
Following a lull in the action, Wellington found herself playing the scorer role yet again.
The co-captain received a pass from sophomore forward Maddie Earle in the 22nd minute to score her second goal of the day. After assisting on the first goal of the game, van Vlijmen found herself on the score sheet once more, this time in the 24th minute, as the Dutch midfielder scored from the top of the circle to extend Harvard’s lead to 3-0.
The string of Crimson scoring did not end there, as the team managed to add on another goal before the close of the half.
In the 34th minute, freshman Tessel Huibregsten rushed up the field and played a cross to junior forward Kathleen Young, who tapped the ball in for the score. With the goal, Young extended her scoring streak to six games. She currently leads the team with 17 points on the year.
The second half was more of the same for Harvard, as the team fired off three shots in the first six minutes of action.
Entering the 42nd minute, Young managed to corral a rebound in front of the net and put it away for her second goal of the game.
Two minutes later, Earle collected a pass from co-captain Ellie Cookson and managed to slot it into the net to extend the Crimson’s lead to 6-0. Freshman forward Mimi Tarrant added to the momentum, scoring Harvard’s seventh and final goal in the 65th minute, as she managed to score off of her own rebound.
While the game was a showcase of the Crimson’s offensive potential, the defense also put forth an impressive performance.
While Harvard’s offense took 33 shots in the contest, the defense limited Holy Cross to just three, with only two of those being on goal. In another strong showing, senior goal keeper Olivia Startup notched her second shutout and improved to 5-0 in her starts on the season.
“I think it was a great team performance,” van Herwaarden said. “We are on a nice streak at the moment, which I think allows us to play a bit more freely. We had some confidence in our passes. Once we scored the first goal, we were just hungry for even more.”
Coming off of Wednesday night’s victory, the Crimson will look to an upcoming home game against Penn. In its second Ivy League match up of the season, Harvard will attempt to carry the season’s early success into its showdown against the Quakers.
—Staff writer Sean B. Chanicka can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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