Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot Photography.
NEW YORK CITY – Freshman Jennifer VanderMeulen and sophomore Melanie Baskind scored five goals each to lead the Harvard women's lacrosse team to a must-win victory over Columbia, 18-10, Saturday afternoon.
The Crimson (7-7, 3-4 Ivy) needed an Ancient Eight win for a shot to play in the inaugural Ivy League Tournament next weekend. Harvard will have to wait at least 24 hours before learning its fate as the other three conference games will be played tomorrow.
Baskind scored five goals and added an assist for a career-high six points to pace Crimson. She won two draw controls and scooped up four ground balls in the win. VanderMeulen also won two draw controls and was a perfect 2-for-2 on free position shots. Classmate Micaela Cyr scored four goals, while rookie Danielle Tetreault and senior co-captain Sara Flood added two goals apiece. Tetreault also contributed two assists, two ground balls and won three draw controls.
Harvard scored first but had to battle back from a 3-1 deficit nine minutes into the game. Late in the first half the Crimson broke open a 5-5 team, scoring two straight to take a 7-5 lead at the break. In the second session, the Crimson opened up a three-goal advantage twice before the Lions brought the score to 10-8. Harvard scored eight of the next nine goals to pull away from the home team and take a 18-9 lead with just over a minute left to play. Columbia managed to get on the board against with 1:02 to play.
Senior Katherine Martino made 12 saves in the net. Harvard outshot the Lions, 36-26, won more ground balls, 16-10 and beat the league's best draw control team, winning 18 of 30 draws.
Harvard's three conference victories this season are the most for head coach Lisa Miller, who is in her third season with the Crimson. Harvard last posted a 3-4 Ancient Eight mark in 2006.
If the Crimson advances to the Ivy League tournament, it will play Friday, April 30 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. Harvard's next scheduled game is against Boston College on May 5.