May 4, 2004

Women Laxers Defeat Harvard in Final Game

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In its last Ivy League game of the season, the women’s lacrosse team (5-9, 3-4 Ivy) hung on to beat Harvard, 10-9, in a nail-biter. Seniors Jaime Quinn and Kate Hirschfield each had strong games in the last Ancient Eight game of their careers, with each picking up a goal. Hirschfield led the team with four ground balls on the day. Sophomore goaltender Maggie Fava completed the excellent effort with a huge save with only 40 seconds left on the clock to protect the one goal win.

“I think it’s outstanding how far [Fava] has come,” said head coach Jenny Graap ’86. “I think she’s showing development in her composure and her play outside the crease. She’s got excellent reflexes and excellent technique on her saves. Seeing her grow and mature in her confidence to stretch herself and do more, I think she’s really shown that she’s just going to get better and better.”

The first 10 minutes of the game went without either team scoring, as both Harvard’s and Cornell’s defenses were firing on all cylinders. Each goaltender collected three saves in the first 15 minutes, making it quite clear that this was not going to be a blowout or a high-scoring affair. Junior Kristen Smith was the lone goal scorer until Harvard’s Bessie Clark netted a goal with 14:51 remaining in the first half.

Cornell caught on fire at this point, garnering the next three goals of the game from freshman Lindsey Moore, Hirschfield, and sophomore Lisa Giugliano. However, in the 29th minute, Harvard picked up two quick goals to keep the Crimson within one.

The beginning of the second half was all Cornell. Despite Harvard’s nabbing the first goal of the second half to tie the game at 4-4, the Red proceeded to score the next four goals of the match, giving Cornell an 8-4 lead with just over 19 minutes remaining in the game. Freshman Margaux Viola picked up her first of two goals in the game in this barrage, while top scorers junior Lindsay Steinberg, sophomore Lyndsay Robinson and Quinn picked up the other three goals as Cornell went on the upswing of the back and forth play.

“It was a bit of a sloppy game,” Graap said. “Whenever that happens, the game goes down to one end, and that team turns it over, and it goes down to the other end and that team turns it over. At both ends of the field there was just some sloppy play. It’s hard to get into a rhythm when you or your opponent plays that way. It was really muggy the whole day [as well].”

After Harvard’s Elaine Belitsos scored her second of the game to bring the Crimson within three goals, the two teams would trade goals until Cornell led 10-6 with only 10 minutes to go in the game. Harvard quickly made it a tight match again, when Allison Kaveney and Liz Gamble picked up two goals in under two minutes to bring Harvard within two scores. For the next six minutes, a defensive battle ensued, with neither team able to get a goal. But with only 2:27 left, Harvard showed the tenacity that it did earlier in the game, as Caroline Hines scored unassisted for her sixth point of the match, making it a one-goal game.

“It was a combination of us trying to slow the ball down a little bit and hold some possession time,” Graap said. “We had some errors. We had several scoring attempts that resulted in turnovers, goalie saves, and wide shots.”

With Harvard streaking and Cornell on the ropes, a comeback seemed very close, if not inevitable. But with only 40 seconds left, the Crimson took a point blank shot, which was subsequently stopped by Fava. Fava has shown that she is a very capable goaltender this season, picking up this week’s Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week award. Quinn completed Cornell’s sweep of the Ivy League awards last week after being named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week.

“Quinn was just outstanding with four goals and a lot of draw controls and just a real leader for us against Syracuse and again in the Harvard game she was really, really active,” Graap said. “In both games, Maggie made some really clutch saves against Syracuse in all the overtime periods and against Harvard, we were really just floundering at the end there and it was just a question of could we stop them in regulation for the win. I think Maggie really stepped up and made several key saves so that we could preserve that victory and that was pretty huge.”

Archived article by Michael Pandolfini
Sun Staff Writer