Freshman Maddie Earle scored her first two collegiate goals Friday (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Maddie Earle and Abbey Thornhill scored their first goals of the season and Marissa Balleza contributed three points, but it was not enough Friday night, as the Harvard field hockey team (2-3) dropped a 4-3 decision to Northeastern (4-2) at Berylson Family Field Hockey Field.
Earle's second half goal, was the first tally of the rookie's career. Balleza's third of the season started the second half scoring and she went on to assist on Earle's, giving her 87 points for her career, taking sole possession of second place in the Harvard record books in that category.
Despite the final score, Harvard controlled the action for a majority of the night, posting a 17-6 advantage in shots over the Huskies. The Crimson were very active in controlling possession in the opening 10 minutes, but Northeastern's Alice Batt started the scoring with her first of the season at 10:19. The Huskies quickly extended their lead to 2-0 on Jessica Unger's successful penalty stroke attempt at 13:12.
Thornhill closed the gap 10 minutes later when her shot from the end line was redirected into the back of the cage. Northeastern though, would get the goal back at 28:31 when June Curry-Lindahl finished off an odd-man rush, giving the Huskies a 3-1 lead at the break.
Harvard came out with a renewed energy in the second half and struck first. Putting pressure on the Northeastern cage, Balleza shot an initial attempt that was turned away, but stayed with the play and swept in her own rebound to make it 3-2.
Northeastern would retake a two-goal lead with less than seven minutes to play when Batt scored her second of the night. The Crimson continued to fight, as Earle fielded a pass from Balleza and then made a spin move to beat the Northeastern keeper with 2:09 remaining. Harvard would have two final chances on penalty corners with the clock expired, but was not able to notch the equalizer.
Next up for Harvard is a matchup Sunday at UMass at 2 p.m.