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Field Hockey Defeats Brown, BU, Extends Win Streak to Eight Games

Allin's All In
The Crimson's 11-1 record is helped along by its stingy 0.83 GAA; the team scored 5 goals and conceded only two this weekend, thanks to the defensive work of players like senior back Olivia Allin.
Junior forward Maddie Earle collected three of the four goals Harvard scored this weekend as the field hockey team extended its win streak to eight games, which ties the program record set in 2016. Earle and the No. 11 Crimson squad defeated Brown and Boston University over the weekend to move to an 11-1 overall record on the season.

“We played how we wanted to play,” Earle said. “We stuck to the plan and really executed and trusted the process.”

HARVARD 2, BOSTON UNIVERSITY 0

On Sunday, Harvard (11-1, 3-0 Ivy League) faced off against the 23rd-ranked Boston University (7-5, 3-0 Patriot League). Throughout the first half, the Crimson was unable to find the back of the board even with five shots on goal.

It took 24 minutes after the break for Earle to connect off a Terrier turnover, scoring her seventh goal in the last six games. Only three minutes later, freshman midfielder and forward Rachel Greenwood scored her second career goal.

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Earle, who now has nine goals and two assists this season, attributed her offensive explosion throughout the Crimson’s win streak to her teammates.

“We have some fantastic players in the midfield, like Tessel [Huibregtsen], Bente [van Vlijmen], Rachel [Greenwood], who make me look fantastic up front,” Earle said. “It is definitely not just a me thing, it is a whole team effort.”

Defensively, freshman goalie Ellie Shahbo collected her fourth career shutout. With the Terriers only having two shots on goal, Shahbo recorded two saves and her fifth win of the season in the net. For co-captain Kathleen Young, this game saw the freshmen on the team take the forefront.

“We had our freshmen really step up this weekend,” Young said. “The second goal at BU was a freshman to freshman connection. It was nice to see how well they are doing and it was really energizing to our team to have Rachel playing so well.”

HARVARD 3, BROWN 2

The Crimson traveled to Providence on Friday afternoon to face Ancient Eight rival Brown (4-7, 0-3) in its third conference game on the season.

While Earle, assisted by Young, quickly found the back of the net six minutes into the first-half to give Harvard a 1-0 lead, the Bears continued to fight. Earle scored again 17 minutes later, putting the Crimson up 2-0, but Brown’s freshman back and midfielder Danielle van Rootselaar countered less than a minute later. Before the end of the half, the Bears had scored another goal to tie the game.

“Brown was a particularly tough game for us,” Earle said. “We always struggle when we play at Brown. I think it’s just sort of the atmosphere when we are there.”

Following the first-half defensive struggles, the Crimson protected its half of the field. In the last 35 minutes, the Harvard defensive front prevented the Bears from taking any shots, allowing for a second-half shutout.

With 15 minutes left in the game, Young scored the game-winning goal, her fourth on the season, with an assist from Greenwood. According to Young, some of the struggles seen throughout the Brown game come with the territory of conference play.

“I think Ivy games always have a certain amount of pressure associated with them. I think Brown was a good team,” Young said. “We went out and had a lot of good chances that didn’t get converted so that is definitely something we worked on and talked about.”

As the season continues, the Crimson does not have any weekends with more than one game. According to Earle, the light schedule helps as the team recovers from injuries and attempts to maintain the momentum from an 11-1 start.

“We have got the foundation down to be able to really execute and give the Ivy League championship a real good shot, but to really make it ours, we really need to work on the little things and really keep our head in it,” Earle said. “To keep the momentum going we just have to keep doing what we are doing and making every practice a little bit better.”

Harvard will continue its quest for the Ivy League title this Saturday, hosting Cornell at Berylson Field.

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