Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
The Harvard women's lacrosse team closes out its home lacrosse season against Columbia Saturday on Senior Day. The Crimson is among four teams with a chance to claim the Ivy League title and needs two more league wins to do just that.
Penn sits half a game ahead of Dartmouth, Harvard and Princeton with a 5-1 overall record. Dartmouth and Princeton meet on Saturday, while Harvard travels to Hanover, N.H. next Friday.
Senior Send Off
Sam McMahon will play her final regular season home game Saturday The defensive specialist has played in 49 games, cllected 54 ground balls, won 20 draws and caused 35 turnovers.
Scouting the Crimson
Harvard is 8-4 overall after winning six of its last seven and four in a row. Thirteen Crimson players have found the back of the net for a team that averages 12.67 goals per game. Jennifer VanderMeulen paces the offense with 37 goals and five assists for 42 points. Danielle Tetreault (32g, 5a), Jess Halpern (22g, 1a) and Melanie Baskind (21g, 5a), have been scoring threats for the Crimson, which leads the Ivy League and is 21st in the nation in scoring offense.
Tetreault leads the team and is second in the Ivy League in draw controls with 24, while Baskind leads the team with 22 ground balls. Ellen Gleason paces the Crimson with 13 caused turnovers. Kerry Clark has made 72 saves in the cage and sports an 9.92 goals-against average.
Last Time Out
Harvard turned a 10-3 halftime lead into a 16-6 win over Boston University Wednesday night at Nickerson Field. The Crimson snapped a six-game losing streak against the Terriers in its first win over its closest neighbor since 1994.
Danielle Tetreault led the Crimson with four goals and an assist. Jess Halpern scored a hat trick, while Jennifer VanderMeulen, Melanie Baskind and Isabelle Clarke added two tallies. Ellen Gleason, Chelsey Newman and Tyler Petropulos also found the back of the net. Baskind won a team-high four draw controls, while Lauren Tomkinson caused a career-high four turnovers and Mariah Pewarski picked up four ground balls.
Scouting the Lions
Columbia is coming off a.16-7 win at Bucknell Wednesday. The Lions (4-8, 1-4) are on a three-game win streak having picked up a 13-11 win over Lafayette and a 10-3 victory on Senior Day against Yale.
Kacie Johns paces the Lions offense with 30 goals and 17 assists. She also leads the team with 11 caused turnovers. Taylor Gattinella and Olivia Mann having netted 22 goals apiece. Caroline Seery has a team-high 21 grounds balls and Gattinella has won a team-best 29 draw controls. Karlee Blank has 134 saves and sports a 10.41 goals-against average.
The Crimson leads the young series, 11-2 after winning the first seven games of the series. The program first played in 1998. Harvard earned an 18-10 win last year in New York City.
The Harvard women are ranked 19th in the nation by Synapse Sports, formerly womenslacrosse.com, and are receiving votes in the IWLCA poll for the seventh week in a row.
Harvard has defeated a top-20 opponent in each of the last three seasons. Last week, the Crimson earned a 9-8 win against then-No. 12 Princeton. In 2010, Harvard knocked off No. 15 New Hampshire and the previous year, the Crimson topped No. 20 Cornell.
Silencing the Offense
Kerry Clark and the Crimson defense held Yale and New Hampshire without a goal in the second half. In fact, Harvard held its opponents scoreless for 71 minutes and 14 seconds in those two games.
Eight is Great
Harvard has scored at least eight goals in all 11 games so far this season.
Against the Rest
At the beginning of the week, the Crimson is second in the Ivy League and 27th in the nation in draw controls (12.82 per game), Harvard is the most accurate team in the league, converting on 48.7 percent of its shots this season. The Crimson also has the league's highest scoring offense, which ranks 26tht in the nation.
Jennifer VanderMeulen leads the league and are 14th the nation in goals per game (3.18). Danielle Tetreault is not far behind ranking 43rd.
Jennifer VanderMeulen has scored in every game of her career, 25 straight contests for the Crimson. She has 18 games with three or more goals and 13 games with four or more scores.
In the Record Books
Jess Halpern scored her 100th career goal against No. 7 Virginia (April 5). She has 104 goals, 22 assists and 126 career reports entering this weekend.
Around the League
There is a full slate of Ivy League contests on Saturday with Ivy League title and tournament seeding implications as Princeton travels to Dartmouth for a battle for Ivy League Tournament seeding. Cornell visits Yale and Brown hosts Penn.
O' Captain, My Captain
Senior Sam McMahon and juniors Melanie Baskind and Tyler Petropulos were elected captains for the 2011 season. It's the fifth time in program history three players have been selected to lead the team and only the second since 1999.
Multi Sports Stars
Several Harvard players also moonlight on fall sports teams. Melanie Baskind is a member of the women's soccer team. She was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2008 and has earned second-team (2009) and first-team (2010) All-Ivy League honors as well. She was an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America second team selection last fall.
Harvard plays its final regular season game at Dartmouth April 29. The Crimson will then face either Dartmouth, Princeton or Penn in the Ivy League tournament to held at the regular season Ancient Eight champions.