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Strong Defense Propels Women's Lacrosse to Second Straight Win, 10-4

The Crimson held Stanford scoreless in the first half en route to a 10-4 win at Harvard Stadium (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's lacrosse team used another stifling defensive performance to get back to .500 on Wednesday as it took down Stanford, 10-4, at Harvard Stadium.

The Crimson (4-4) set the tone early as Kelly Weis made her first of eight saves off a Catherine Swanson free position shot just 1:07 into the game. Harvard capitalized on the ensuing possession as Jennifer VanderMeulen converted a free position attempt for the first score of the day, and Danielle Tetreault made it a 2-0 game 4:50 in off a second free position attempt. VanderMeulen added her second goal less than 30 seconds later for a 3-0 lead.

Play evened up over the next 20 minutes as the teams traded possession back-and-forth. Weis came away with three more saves during the stretch before Micaela Cyr found the back of the net off a feed from Jenn Leffew with 4:24 remaining in the frame to move the score to 4-0. Leffew got in on the scoring action with 1:49 to go as Melanie Baskind found her cutting in front of the net, and for the second straight game Harvard went into the half without allowing a goal, 5-0.

The lead grew to 6-0 out of the break as Leffew and Baskind teamed up for another score, and Baskind made it a 7-0 margin with 24:58 remaining. Stanford (2-6) got on the board with 20:49 on the clock but Chelsey Newman responded for the Crimson with her first goal of the year, making it an 8-1 game. Back-to-back tallies by VanderMeulen gave Harvard its largest lead of the day, 10-1, with 14:27 to play.

The Cardinal netted three goals in the final 4:01 of regulation as Harvard walked away with the victory, 10-4.

VanderMeulen led all scorers with a season-high four goals while Leffew notched two goals and one assist for three points. Baskind also registered three points with one goal and two assists as six different Crimson scored in the victory.

Weis anchored the Harvard defense with eight saves and three groundballs, as the team's four goals allowed were its fewest since a 19-3 win over Yale last season. Harvard has allowed five or fewer goals in each of its last two games, marking the first time the team has accomplished the feat since April of 2002.

Cyr matched her season-high with four ground balls while Lauren Tomkinson also registered a season-high with three. Tetreault and Kasey Uhlenhuth led the Crimson in draw controls with three and two, respectively.

Stanford outshot the Crimson 18-14 but put only 12 attempts on goal. The teams were even in draw controls, 8-8, and Harvard held a slight edge in turnovers, 18-15. Emilie Boeri led the Cardinal attack with two goals while Lyndsey Munoz recorded three saves in goal.

Harvard will be back in action Saturday, March 31 when it faces No. 2 Syracuse at Gillette Stadium. First draw is scheduled for 12 p.m.

Game Notes: Harvard has allowed five or fewer goals in each of its last two games, marking the first time the team has done so since April of 2002 … Harvard has outscored its last two opponents 12-0 in the first half … Kelly Weis notched her fifth game with at least eight saves … Jennifer VanderMeulen registered her second hat trick of the season and the 24th of her career.