Three decades ago, the Harvard women’s lacrosse team (9-5, 5-2 Ivy) began what would become an incredible statistic: 11 Ivy League championships in 13 seasons, winning every year from ’81 to ’85 and ’88 to ’93. Today, even after falling short of its 12th-ever title, some of the Crimson’s other statistics are still quite incredible.
Currently, Harvard holds the most potent attack in Ancient Eight women’s lacrosse. The Crimson, amounting for a league-best 174 goals in only 14 games, possesses three of the conference’s most prolific scorers in sophomore Jennifer VanderMeulen, the only Ivy League player to average a hat trick or more per contest; sophomore Danielle Tetreault, 4th in the Ancient Eight goals and 5th in assists; and junior Jess Halpern, tenth in the conference with two scores per game.
Despite its top-ranked offense, Harvard’s defense has allowed 142 goals in 14 games played, including a 14-goal loss to last year’s Ancient Eight runner-up and this year's co-champion, Dartmouth. The Big Green have only allowed 114 goals in conference play, the lowest of any team.
Interestingly enough, the last time the Crimson won the Ivy League Tournament, it beat Dartmouth, once in the regular season and again at the NCAA tournament.
But that year would also mark one of the last times Harvard experienced a win over the Big Green or even made it to the national tournament. Since 1994, the Crimson boasts just one tourney berth and one defeat of the Big Green, both of which came before most of this year’s squad was old enough for kindergarten.
Still, with the all-time series stuck at 18-18-1, history may just grant Harvard an edge over its opponents. The last time these two teams faced off in the Ivy League tournament, the Crimson snuck away with an 11-6 win and a championship to show for it.
The rivalry continues this Friday at Penn.