CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard field hockey team (4-4, 1-0 Ivy) won its second game of the weekend Sunday, overpowering the 19th-ranked Maine Black Bears (7-3), 3-1. The win improved the Crimson to .500 as it prepares for a three-game road swing at No. 9 Boston University, Penn and Brown.
Facing a Maine team that averaged over four goals per game entering Sunday, the Crimson held the Black Bears off the scoreboard until the final two minutes. Sophomore goalkeeper Libby Manela tallied six saves in the cage for the Crimson, stonewalling the Maine offense.
Balleza provided Harvard's second tally a little over three minutes into the second half. Kathleen Young fired an initial shot attempt from close range that Emma Cochran stopped for Maine, but Balleza settled the rebound on her stick and ripped it past the Black Bears defense for her fifth of the season. With the three points Sunday, Balleza is now just 10 shy of tying Judy Collins '99 for the program record in points scored in a career at Harvard.
The scoring continued for Harvard in the 44th minute when freshman Bente can Vlijmen, who scored twice Friday against Yale, blasted a shot from the top of the circle and into the cage. The goal came off of one of Harvard's five penalty corner attempts and was assisted by Kyla Cordrey and Ellie Cookson.
Maine attempted to rally a comeback, but managed just one goal from Danielle Aviani with two minutes remaining. The loss marked only the third time all season Maine had been held to one goal.
Harvard meets No. 9 Boston University Thursday evening at Nickerson Field before returning to Ivy play Saturday, Oct. 2 at Penn.