April 30, 2004

Lady Laxers Visit Harvard

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For a team that has gone 71-37 in its seven seasons under head coach Jenny Graap ’86, the women’s lacrosse team (4-9, 2-4 Ivy) has struggled this season. However, this team certainly has not lost its heart, as evidenced by the Red’s emotional victory against No. 14 Syracuse in four overtime periods on Tuesday. Sunday, the Red plays its last Ivy League game of the season against Harvard (6-8, 1-5).

“I would say definitely our two seniors are really stepping up,” Graap said. “Also, with the two games left, [our young players] have to prove themselves in practice to get out there on that game field.”

The Crimson has been a much-improved team under the guidance of its new coach, Sarah Nelson. With junior Casey Owens’ 38 points and senior Jen Brooks’ 29 points, the Crimson has a powerhouse offense that can be very dangerous.

“I think that we’re anticipating Harvard to be a much improved team from years past,” Graap said. “They have a young and new coach. They’ve already had some success with the new coach.”

With Harvard’s overpowering offense, the Red will have to gear up its defense — which struggled early in the season.

“In practice [this week], we really did want to work on our defense and we want to go into the game with a strong defensive game plan,” Graap said. “And with some new offensive looks.”

Still, Harvard’s success has not come exclusively from its offense. The Crimson also boasts a serious height and speed advantage over the Red.

“As a team in general, Harvard has a height advantage over us and they’re also a fast team,” Graap said. “We’ll have to do some compensating.”

In addition, Graap argues that despite its huge win on Tuesday, the Red will have to put the Syracuse win behind it and get back to business.

“We’re already trying to put some perspective on the Syracuse win and move on,” Graap said. “I don’t want us to be thinking about that too much.

“It was an outstanding game, but it doesn’t mean that we’re just going to magically repeat that against Harvard.”

However, with seniors Jaime Quinn and Kate Hirschfield playing in the last two games of their Cornell careers, and the squad’s rookies fighting for playing time, the Red should have the intensity it needs to battle a very good Harvard team. “I think we have a lot of young players that have not gotten a lot of playing time and I think that everyone is really pushing,” Graap said.

Archived article by Michael Pandolfini
Sun Staff Writer