March 18, 2009

Harvard Hangs On for Win over UConn

from press release

Storrs, Conn. -  Senior Kaitlin Martin and sophomore Jess Halpernscored five goals each to lead the Harvard women's lacrosse team to a 14-12 win over Connecticut Wednesday afternoon. The Crimson held an 11-6 halftime lead and held off a late charge by the Huskies to improve to 3-3 overall.

Martin scored five goals and assisted on two others to pace the Crimson offense. Martin was also 2-for-2 on free position attempts. Halpern added an assist to her five goal total for six-points, equaling her season-high point total set against Holy Cross in the season opener.  Four other Harvard players tallied goals in the win.

Connecticut scored 47 seconds into the game when Kirsten Tupper found Katy Ryan. The Crimson answered with three-straight Halpern scores to take a 3-1 lead after eight minutes of action. Ryan found the found of the net after 10 minutes of play to pull the Huskies within, 3-2, but three different Crimson scored over the next 10 minutes to give the visiting team a 7-2 advantage. Freshman Tyler Petropulous registered her eighth goal of the season on a feed from Martin, Martin then put back-to-back tallies between the pipes and rookie Chelsey Bowman collected her second collegiate goal during the stretch. The Huskies closed the gap to four twice, before Harvard put three straight pass Anna Wallingford and took a seven-goal lead, 11-4, with 3:41 remaining in the first half. UConn scored two goals in the final 1:37 of the half to cut the lead to 11-6.

The Huskies struck first in the second stanza to cut the deficit to four, 11-7. Halpern put away her fourth goal of the game and Martin notched her fifth to send the lead back to six. After a UConn score, Halpern tallied another score, but that was all the Crimson offense would manage in the second session. Connecticut scored four unanswered goals in final 19 minutes of play to threaten the Crimson lead. The Harvard defense held off the Huskies in last three minutes of the game to preserve the win.

Freshman Katie Doherty, who scored in the first half, won a game-high six draw controls.  Junior co-captain Sara Flood won four draw controls to go along with a goal and assist. Petropulous led the way in ground balls with three and caused two turnovers. Kerry Clark made a career-high 11 stops in the net and played the entire game for the four contests in a row.

Harvard held the advantage in shots (31-26), ground balls (8-6), draw controls (16-11) and converted on 11 of 12 clear attempts.

The Crimson returns to the Boston area for its next game, but won't be playing at home as Harvard takes on No. 12 Boston University, Saturday at 1 p.m. on Nickerson Field.

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