Women's Lacrosse Welcomes No. 7 Dartmouth Wednesday

Women's Lacrosse Welcomes No. 7 Dartmouth Wednesday

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot Photography.

Story Line
Harvard hosts No. 7 Dartmouth in its second to last conference game of the season Wednesday at 4 p.m. The Crimson is mathematically alive in the race for the fourth seed in the inaugural Ivy League Women's Lacrosse Tournament.

Follow from Home
Live statistics will be available for Wednesday’s games at GoCrimson.com.  Live video will also be available at GoCrimson.com for free.

Last Time Out
Jennifer VanderMeulen and Melanie Baskind scored hat tricks to lead Harvard to an 11-9 win over Princeton Saturday afternoon for its first victory over the Tigers since 1992.

Six Crimson players found the back of the net with Micaela Cyr tallying two goals and Sara Flood, Nina Kucharczyk and Danielle Tetreault adding a goal apiece. Tetreault also had an assist.

Princeton struck first, scoring 2:25 into the contest, before Harvard scored two in a row to take a 2-1 lead nine minutes into the first half. The Tigers tied it at 2-2, but that was as close as the visiting team would get for the rest of the game. VanderMeulen scored the first of four straight Harvard tallies with 16:50 left in the first half. Princeton scored with 25 seconds left in the frame to make it 6-3 at the half.

Harvard stretched its lead to as many as five, twice in the second session before the Tigers closed the game. Princeton scored four games in the final 10 minutes of the game, including two with less than 1:19 to play, but the Crimson defense held strong, forcing a turnover with 15 seconds left to play.

Senior Katherine Martino made seven saves in the net to improve to 5-4 on the season. Kucharczyk and sophomore Ellen Gleason each had two caused turnovers in the game, while senior co-captain Delia Pais collected a team-high three ground balls. Pais, Gleason and junior Sam McMahon played tough defense throughout the game to hold the Tigers to just nine goals. Baskind won three draw controls to pace the Crimson.

Scouting Report
Harvard (6-6, 2-3 Ivy) put together back-to-back win for the first time this season with victories over Holy Cross and Princeton last week. The Crimson broke a 17-game win streak by the Tigers in the series last Saturday on Alumni Day.

Jennifer VanderMeulen paces the Crimson and the Ivy League with 44 goals and 52 points. Melanie Baskind leads the team and is second in the Ancient Eight in ground balls (34) and caused turnovers (22). VanderMeulen and Micaela Cyr have won a team-high 23 draw controls each.

In the net, Katherine Martino sports a 9.79 goals-against average and has made 67 saves. She sports 5-4 record.

Scouting the Big Green
Dartmouth (9-2, 5-1 Ivy) is coming off a tough 9-6 loss to No. 6 Penn last Saturday. Despite allowing nine goals from the Quakers, the Big Green has the best defense in the nation. Dartmouth has won nine of its last 10 games.

Greta Meyer and Sarah Parks paces the offense with 26 and 25 goals, respectively. Meyer has an Ivy League best 21 assists as well. Hilary Smith leads the team in draw controls and ground balls with 23 each. Sarah Plumb has a team-best 21 caused turnovers.

In the net, Julia Wadland sports the nation’s best goals-against average (6.75) and has 68 saves. She has started all 11 games and boasts a .489 save percentage. 

The Series
Harvard leads the all-time series 18-16-1 but Dartmouth has won 14 of the last 15 games and comes to Cambridge with a 13-game win streak against the Crimson. The two teams met for the first time in 1976 with Dartmouth earning a 6-5 victory and after tying in 1977, the Crimson went on to win 16 of the next 17 games including nine straight from 1978 to 1985.

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.

Nationally Speaking
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
Harvard closes out its conference campaign at Columbia Saturday. First draw is slated for 1 p.m.