Harvard's six seniors were honored following the 4-0 win over Vermont on Sunday. (Zack Williamson)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Freshman Marissa Balleza tallied a pair of goals for the fourth time this season, sparking the Harvard field hockey team to its 4-0 win over Vermont on Sunday at Jordan Field. The Crimson (7-9, 1-5 Ivy League) celebrated the last home contest of six of its seniors with the win over the Catamounts (0-18, 0-5 AEC).
After the first whistle blew, the Crimson started their attack. Sophomore Elizabeth Jacobson sported her fourth goal of the season not five minutes into the contest, giving Harvard an early one-goal lead. After the Crimson forced the majority of the play in its offensive zone, the pressure finally paid off. At the 19:00 mark, Noel Painter fired in a shot after a smooth pass from Kyla Cordrey in the center of the circle to put the home team up, 2-0.
Balleza snagged the first of her two goals just over a minute following Painter's tally, with a nice unassisted shot low and away. With the goal, the freshman upped her point streak to nine games in a row. Vermont pressured late, ultimately getting a couple of shots on target, but fourth-year netminder Hatfield was there to prevent any damage against the Crimson.
Coming out of the break, Harvard kept up the pace of the game, forcing Vermont to play catch-up. The Crimson earned two consecutive penalty corners in a row, and connected on the second, thanks to a nice slide pass from Jacobson to Balleza, who was waiting alone in the right side of the circle for the putback.
With the 4-0 lead, Harvard tried to waste time away. Vermont got a number of chances on both Hatfield and sophomore Issy Davies, who came in with about 12 minutes to play, but the Crimson defense stood tall to secure the 4-0 victory.
After the win, Harvard returns to action in the final regular season game in New York City against Columbia on Sunday to wrap up 2013.