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Women's Lacrosse Drops Heartbreaker to No. 7 Virginia, 19-18

Freshman Isabelle Clarke's first collegiate goal tied the game at 17 late in the second half.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Jess Halpern and Jennifer VanderMeulen scored five goals apiece in the Harvard women's lacrosse team's heartbreaking, 19-18, loss to No. 7 Virginia Sunday at Harvard Stadium. The Crimson (4-4) battled back from a 15-9 second half deficit to tie the score, 17-17, with 7:41 to play.

Seven different Crimson players found the back of the net in Harvard's highest scoring output of the season. Melanie Baskind scored a hat trick and contributed an assist, while Tyler Petropulos tallied two scores and Chelsey Newman, Nina Kucharczyk and Isabelle Clarke all scored a goal.

Halpern stuck first for the Crimson a little more than two minutes into the contest. The Cavaliers answered and the two teams traded goals over the next eight minutes to even the score at 3. The visiting team rattled of four straight tallies to take a 7-3 lead with 9:13 left in the first frame. Virginia scored three of the last five goals of the half to take a 10-5 lead into the break.

VanderMeulen scored two quick goals, one off a free position shot to pull the Crimson to within 10-7 four minutes into the second session. Virginia came back with five tallies to take its largest lead of the game 15-9 with 14:31 to play.

Mariah Pewarski won the draw control and quickly passed off to Halpern for a Harvard score that sparked a 7-2 Crimson run. Halpern scored two during that stretch, while Baskind, Kucharczyk ad VanderMeulen put the ball in the net. After closing the gap to 17-16, Clarke scooped up the draw control and raced in for her first collegiate goal to tie the score at 17 with just over seven minutes remaining.

A minute and a half later the Cavaliers broke up the Crimson run with a goal and Josie Owens put away the eventual game winner 15 seconds after that. The Cavaliers won the next draw, but Baskind forced a Virginia turnover with 1:47 on the clock and brought the ball into Virginia territory. After a Crimson timeout, Baskind fired away, the shot was saved but Baskind grabbed the ground ball and fired another shot that went in with 53 ticks on the clock. Virginia controlled the next draw and was able to hang on to the ball as time expired despite strong pressure from the Crimson defense.

Kerry Clark made a season-high 10 saves in the net. Petropulos and Ellen Gleason led the Crimson with four ground balls apiece, while Gleason caused two opponent turnovers. Clarke won three draws to lead the Crimson.

Harvard converted on all 11 clear attempts and won the battle for ground balls, collecting 18 to UVA's 14.

The Crimson hits the road for four contests away from Cambridge. First up is a Ivy League battle at Brown, Friday at 6 p.m.