Bannon had a hand in each of Harvard's two first-half goals (photo courtesy DSPics.com).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -Senior Kristin Bannon and junior Chloe Keating each logged a goal and an assist to lead the Harvard field hockey team to a 4-2 win against Bryant in the Crimson's home opener Saturday afternoon at rainy Jordan Field.
Harvard, which had previously posted 4-1 wins against Holy Cross and UC Davis, scored four goals in each of its first three games for the first time in program history. The Crimson's sum of 12 goals matches its 2000 output for the second-highest three-game goal total to open a season. Harvard scored 16 goals in the first three contests of 1999.
Sophomore Georgia McGillivray and freshman Emma Keller also scored for the Crimson (3-0), which has won its first three games for the first time since shutting out its first four opponents in 2005. Harvard held a 10-2 advantage in penalty corners and outshot Bryant, 21-7, but the Bulldogs (1-3) fought to get within one goal before Keller's late score.
Freshman Cynthia Tassopoulos made three saves to remain unbeaten in the Crimson goal, while Kundayi Mawema made 10 stops to keep Bryant close.
Keating notched her third straight multi-point game and has team-leading totals of five goals and four assists. Her 14 points in three games matches her career points total entering the season. Keller scored her third goal of the week and her fourth in three collegiate games.
McGillivray put the Crimson ahead on the game's first shot, barely three minutes into the action. She scored from the top of circle following a penalty-corner insertion from Bannon and a stop by sophomore Allie Kimmel.
The Bulldogs tied the score at 25:41. Alexandra Czerniak threaded a pass to Elise Boissoneau in front of the goal. Boissoneau hit the left post with her first shot but got to her own rebound and deposited it into the cage.
Following a penalty corner, Bannon was denied in her first effort to put the Crimson back on top. Mawema stopped her twice in a row on point-blank shots from near the left post.
Bannon converted her next chance. Keller sent the ball into the circle, and it was kicked away by Mawema, who then made a save on rookie Katelin Wahl's rebound shot. The next rebound went to Bannon, who put it away for a 2-1 Harvard lead less than three minutes before halftime.
Harvard outshot Bryant, 8-4, in the opening half. The Crimson earned four penalty corners and limited to the Bulldogs to just one.
Keating added a third Harvard goal at 43:34. Mawema stopped McGillivray's initial shot off a penalty corner, and Bannon's effort from the left side was blocked. The ball bounced into a crowd in front of the goal, and Keating flicked it over Mawema.
The Bulldogs cut the lead to a single goal with about 11 minutes remaining. Courtney Landi had the tally, shooting it into the left side of the cage after Czerniak pushed the ball to her in front.
Keller put the game out of reach in the closing minutes. After Bannon sent a corner directly to Keating on the left side of the circle, Keller redirected the ensuing shot into the top left corner of the goal. The shot was the 13th of the half for Harvard, which limited Bryant to three shots and held a 6-1 advantage in penalty corners after halftime.
The Crimson is home again Wednesday to take on New Hampshire at 6 p.m.