Kelly Weis earned the win in net for Harvard (Gil Talbot).
MORAGA, Calif. – Freshman Megan Hennessey tallied five goals and dished out an assist for six points, while classmate Marisa Romeo added four tallies and two assists for a six-point effort, guiding the Harvard women' s lacrosse team to its first win of the season, 18-7, at Saint Mary's Sunday afternoon.
With the win, the Crimson improves to 1-1, while the Gaels fall to 0-2 on the spring.
Harvard's 18 goals marked the most for the team since topping Marquette, 18-4, March 19, 2013. Hennessey's seven points was the best offensive showing for a Harvard player since Jennifer VanderMeulen '13 had eight points (six goals, two assists) against Holy Cross on April 14, 2010.
Kelly Weis finished with seven saves in net for Harvard, who outshot St. Mary's by a 47-20 margin. The Crimson went 14-of-16 on clear attempts and owned the edge in ground balls, 19-11. Marina Burke caused five turnovers and tied for the team lead for ground balls (three) with Weis and Hennessey. Hennessey also paced her team with four draw controls.
The Crimson struck just 24 seconds into the game, as Nicolia netted an unassisted goal at 29:36, giving Harvard a 1-0 edge. Less than two minutes later, Hennessey converted a free-position attempt at the 27:56 mark, and then Emma Ford sent a pass to Nicolia for another Harvard tally at 27:32, as the Crimson went up, 3-0.
After the Gaels cut the deficit to 3-1, Romeo found the back of the net with 20:26 to play in the first. Hennessey followed with her second tally of the half at 15:29, as the Crimson remained in control, 5-1. With 11:29 remaining in the stanza, Meghan Bauer tacked on another Harvard goal, 6-2, and then Hennessey beat the Gaels' defense for her third tally at 9:47.
With the Crimson leading by four, 7-3, Romeo scored again at the 8:35 mark. Audrey Todd extended the Harvard advantage to 9-3 with an unassisted goal at 4:44, while scores by Maeva McMahon (3:21) and Hennessey (2:12) made it an 11-4 contest at the half.
In the second, Harvard continued to attack in the St. Mary's zone, as McMahon upped the Crimson lead to 12-4 at 24:34, while Romeo earned her hat trick at 23:33, 13-4. Down the stretch, Todd put Harvard back up by nine, 14-5, with 15:46 to go, before Hennessey notched her fifth goal of the contest at 13:57.
With less than 13 minutes to play, Romeo found the back of the net for the fourth time, and then Carolyn Bruckmann added another goal for the Crimson with 10:53 remaining, 17-6. In the final minutes, Chloe Soukas gave Harvard its largest lead, 18-6, with 6:34 to go.
Saint Mary's goalie Sydney Pinello turned aside 18 shots, and seven different goal scorers found the back of the net for the Gaels.
Harvard will host Cornell in the Crimson's home opener Saturday, March 1 at 1 p.m.