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Dominant Set of Wins for Women's Lacrosse

The Harvard women's lacrosse team continued its hot streak with two wins this past week.
The Harvard women's lacrosse team continued its hot streak with two wins this past week. By Courtesy of Harvard Athletics
By Hannah Bebar, Crimson Staff Writer

The Harvard women’s lacrosse team (7-2, 2-1 Ivy) stepped out to dominate on a beautiful Saturday matchup this previous week against Dartmouth. The Crimson were led by a six goal stellar performance from senior captain and attacker Riley Campbell, who was awarded this week’s Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week for her efforts.

Despite the Big Green notching the first point on the day, the Crimson powered through the first quarter with four goals, two of which came from Campbell. The period ended with junior midfielder Caroline Mullahy sneaking one low and through the legs of Dartmouth’s junior goalkeeper Gisele Todd. Mullahy had a successful day adding two goals and three assists. She is building on her phenomenal season leading the team with her prowess in play making, where she tops the nation in assists per game.

“This was a super important game for us. We had a long week of practice that was intense to get good preparation going into the game. During the game Saturday, we were ready to go. We worked on quick ball movement and quick slides on defense that helped us put what we had practiced out onto the field.” Mullahy said.

On the defensive front, junior midfielder Anna Andrews and sophomore midfielder Charlotte Hodgson started the second period with strong plays that resulted in a set of crucial forced turnovers. It was a big day for the first year attacker Callie Batchelder who scored in the first period and again in the second, showing the power and depth of the underclassmen.

The third period was filled with a frenzy of attacking threat led by senior midfielder Callie Hem notching two of her three goals in this period. Hem leads the nation in goals per game. The fourth period tilted in favor of the Big Green with five goals to the Crimson’s three, but the Crimson endured to win the game 16-11.

There was no rest for Head Coach Devon Wills’s team as it approached the midweek matchup against Merrimack (2-9). The Crimson dominated the Warriors in the high scoring contest, decisively clinching the victory with a final score of 18-4. Hem ended the day with a hat-trick that helped her reach a monumental 50 career points. There are only 11 players in Harvard Women’s Lacrosse history who have accomplished such a record.

Sophomore defender Despina Giannakopoulos spoke about how the gritty win took a collective team effort, which was crucial at this point in the season.

The squad hopes to continue that momentum against Dartmouth.
The squad hopes to continue that momentum against Dartmouth. By Courtesy of Harvard Athletics

“It was a huge win for us. It was a big confidence boost, and a full team win for everyone to contribute on the field. It showed that we can be dominant in these games, especially going into Saturday against Cornell,” Giannakopoulos said.

Both Mullahy and Giannakopoulos emphasized that despite their success and back-to-back wins, there are still areas for improvement.

“We have been trying to work on quick ball movement and handling pressure. At the end of the, we have to rely on ourselves and trust our skills out there, not so much as what the opponent is doing. Collectively, as the attacking unit, we have worked on handling the ball under pressure and having no uncaused turnovers,” Mullahy said.

Giannakopoulos emphasized some details that the Crimson have been focusing on improving the last couple of weeks in practice.

“We have been talking a lot about 50/50 balls and winning every match up- winning the game within the game,” Giannakopoulous stressed. “In the draw circle, winning every draw control. It starts off with that 3v3 matchup so for us it’s really taking pride in the ground balls and being the team that comes up with the possession first.”

The Crimson hopes to continue its two-game winning streak as it faces Cornell at home this weekend. The Saturday matchup is bound to be another high-scoring contest, and will hopefully push the Crimson closer to its hopes of making Ivy Tournament play. The game is at 12 pm EST, and can be streamed on ESPN+.

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