Pictured: McDonald scored her first two collegiate goals (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The Harvard field hockey team came back from three different one-goal deficits, but No. 10 New Hampshire scored last to defeat the Crimson, 4-3, in overtime Sunday on Senior Day at Jordan Field.
On a sunny afternoon celebrating the careers of senior co-captains Carly Dickson and Georgia McGillivray, Dickson scored a goal and McGillivray played her usual solid defense. They were aided by two goals from freshman Catriona McDonald, 14 saves by Cynthia Tassopoulos and three defensive saves by Carly McNeill.
Whitney Frates scored her second goal of the game 95 seconds into overtime, shooting to the top right corner of the goal after a penalty corner to give the Wildcats (15-4) the win and hand Harvard (8-8) its first loss in four overtime games. Frates also netted the game's first goal, eight minutes into the opening half.
In what would become a recurring theme, Harvard bounced back after giving up a goal. At 14:54 of the first half, McDonald scored the first goal of her career, banging in the rebound from in the left side after UNH goalie Katherine Nagengast stopped a shot from Kaitlyn Boudah. Casey Pohlmeyer put UNH back on top, 2-1, 10 minutes before halftime, when she redirected a penalty-corner shot high and into the goal.
Harvard again rallied in the second half. Barely four minutes had elapsed when Dickson scored. After the ball was loose in the midfield, Caitlin Rea pushed it ahead to Dickson. The senior stepped into the circle and ripped a low, hard shot beyond the reach of Nagengast's stick.
New Hampshire earned its third lead of the game about 11 minutes later, when Hayley Rausch scored following a centering pass from Pohlmeyer. Great goal-line defense limited the lead to one goal, as Tassopoulos made save after save and McNeill and Molly Stansik logged consecutive defensive saves. Stansik also intercepted four passes, matching Morgan Powell for the team lead for the game.
McDonald made that defense pay off. After Katelin Wahl threw the ball toward the net, Noel Painter collected it and shot. Nagengast got a pad on it, but McDonald was there to put it away with less than five minutes remaining in regulation. Tassopoulos helped force overtime with a huge save on Frates on a breakaway with barely a minute left. McGillivray also slid to make a key tackle in the final five minutes and had a key intercept to prevent a scoring chance early in overtime.