ITHACA, N.Y. – The Harvard field hockey team scored twice in the second half to stage a comeback bid over Ivy League rival Cornell, but the Big Red's three first-half scores were too much for the Crimson to overcome as Harvard dropped a 3-2 decision on Saturday afternoon.
Freshman Sarah Finnemore and junior Noel Painter each found the back of the net for the Crimson, which moves to 4-6, 1-3 in League play. Senior netminder Jenn Hatfield steered away four shots on the afternoon, while giving up three.
Cornell got things going first, notching the game's first tally midway through the opening stanza after some gritty back-and-forth play between the two squads. Marisa Siergiej converted a Big Red penalty corner with a sweeping shot just out of the reach of Jenn Hatfield in the cage. Nearly 20 minutes later, Cornell struck again at the 32:07 mark, as Siergiej connected off a penalty corner once again. Just over two minutes later, the hosts extended their lead to 3-0 after Katy Weeks took a nice cross from Hannah Balleza, Crimson freshman Marissa Balleza's older sister, and hit the far post just before halftime.
Though it was in a 3-0 hole to start the second stanza, the Crimson kept fighting, nearly converting on chances until the 51:49 mark. Painter brought in a nice pass from freshman Sophie van Weede and used a reverse stick shot to slide the ball by Carolyn Horner to cut into Cornell's lead.
Just over five minutes of game time later, Finnemore tallied her fourth goal of the season, converting a 2-on-1 scenario alongside Balleza to make the score 3-2.
But the Big Red held on, only allowing the Crimson a single shot in the final 10 minutes of the contest, but it nearly counted as Elizabeth Jacobson's attempt was saved by Horner with under two minutes left in the game. Cornell fended off another Crimson penalty corner in the waning moments, taking the contest, 3-2.
Harvard returns to the field tomorrow with a matchup against Colgate at noon.