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Women's Lacrosse Travels to Columbia for Final Conference Game

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot Photography.

Story Line
Harvard travels to Columbia for its last conference game of the season Saturday at 1 p.m. The Crimson is mathematically alive in the race for the fourth seed in the inaugural Ivy League Women's Lacrosse Tournament and need a win Saturday to keep it that way.

Last Time Out
Harvard pulled to within one goal late to the second half before falling to No. 7 Dartmouth, 11-9, Wednesday afternoon at Harvard Stadium.  Freshman Micaela Cyr had two goals, an assist and won five draw controls for the Crimson.

Cyr was one of four Crimson players to find the back of the net twice in the game as classmates Danielle Tetreault and Jennifer VanderMeulen and sophomore Melanie Baskind each had a pair of goals.  Second-year Tyler Petropulos also scored for the Crimson, while senior co-captain Sara Flood contributed an assist.

Scouting Report
Harvard (6-7, 2-4 Ivy), who has won two of its last three games, heads out on the road for the first time since April 5.

Jennifer VanderMeulen paces the Crimson and the Ivy League with 46 goals and 54 points. Melanie Baskind leads the team and is second in the Ancient Eight in ground balls (35) and caused turnovers (23) and is second in scoring with 22 goals and six assists. Sara Flood has a team-high 10 assists. Micaela Cyr has won a team-high 28 draw controls each.

In the net, Katherine Martino sports a 9.91 goals-against average and has made 67 saves. She sports 5-4 record.

Scouting the Lions
Columbia (6-7, 0-6 Ivy) has won two of its last three games entering the weekend. The Lions leads the league in draw controls with 12.92 per game.

Brittany Shannon paces the Lions offense with 42 goals and 28 points, while Kacie Johnson has assisted on 17 goals and scored 28 herself for 45 team points. Taylor Gattinella has scooped up a team-best 37 ground balls, while Olivia Mann has won a team-high 38 draw controls. Amanda Goodhart leads the way in caused turnovers with 22.

Karlee Blank sports an 11.3 goals-against average and has made 117 saves this season.

The Series
Harvard is 10-2 against Columbia since the series started in 1998. Despite the overall dominance in the series, the Crimson and Lions have played several close games recently. In 2006, the Crimson earned a 13-12 win and then in 2007, Harvard picked up a 14-12 victory. Last year, the Lions walked away with an 11-10 victory.

She’s Honored
Jennifer VanderMeulen was named Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week and WomensLax.com Rookie of the Week for her performance in games against Holy Cross and Princeton last week. VanderMeulen scored six goals and had two assists in Harvard’s 15-9 win over Holy Cross last Wednesday. She scored a hat trick, won two draw controls and collected a ground ball in a win over Princeton despite being double and triple teamed all day.

Game-by-Game
Jennifer VanderMeulen has scored in all 13 games this season. She has three or more goals in nine contests, has scored a career-high six goals twice and has four or more points in a game eight times. Melanie Baskind has found the back of the net in nine consecutive games, while Danielle Tretreault has scored in eight straight.

Nationally Speaking
Entering the week, Jennifer VanderMeulen is fourth in the nation in goals per game (3.67), while her 44 goals stand 17th among Division I players.  She is also 17th in points per game (4.33). Melanie Baskind is 20th in ground balls per game (2.83) and 24th in caused turnovers per game (1.83), while Katherine Martino is 31st in goals-against average (9.8).

Up Next
If Harvard makes the Ivy League Tournament, it will be held April 30 and May 2 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pa. Semifinal games will be played at 5 and 8 p.m. The winner of the Ivy Tournament will receive the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Harvard’s next scheduled game is May 5 at home against Boston College. It will be senior night for Sara Flood, Katherine Martino and Delia Pais. First draw is slated for 7 p.m.