Harvard returns to Harvard Stadium to take on Columbia on Saturday. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard women's lacrosse (5-5, 1-2 Ivy League) will play its first game of the season at Harvard Stadium, as the Crimson hosts Columbia (3-8, 0-3 Ivy League) on Saturday (April 6) afternoon at 3:30 p.m. The game will air on ESPN+. The contest will be part of Harvard Athletics' Bark at the Park event, which coincides with the Crimson's baseball and softball doubleheaders. Free Harvard dog bandannas will be available for all dogs that are in attendance at the games on Saturday.
What to Know
• Last Saturday, senior captain Keeley MacAfee had four goals, and Nicole Baiocco (three assists) and Grace Hulslander (two goals, assist) each had standout days, but Harvard fell, 15-11, to Dartmouth. Sophomore goalkeeper Grace Rotondo made eight saves. Harvard outscored Dartmouth 6-5 in the second half, and had a 16-15 advantage in shots in the final 30 minutes, but could not overcome a halftime deficit.
• Senior midfielder Keeley MacAfee leads the team with 40 points (31 goals, nine assists). She is fifth in the Ivy League with 3.10 goals per game. MacAfee is second in the Ivy League and 15th in the nation with 5.8 shots on goal per contest. First year Grace Hulslander has 25 points (17 goals, eight assists and senior captain Nicole Baiocco has 16 points with six goals and 10 assists. Senior midfielder Caroline Garrity has 13 goals, a new career high.
• Harvard is No. 2 in the Ivy League (20th, NCAA) in clearing percentage (88.1%) and No. 2 in the conference in ground balls per game (19.6)
• On the defensive end, sophomore goalie Grace Rotondo has started all 10 games, with 80 saves and 27 ground balls so far this season. Rotondo is third in the Ivy League with an average of 8.00 saves per game. First year Shea Jenkins leads the team with 28 ground balls and 36 draw controls, while Grace Hulslander has 30 draw controls as well. Senior Nicole Baiocco has a team best eight caused turnovers.
• Harvard and Columbia will meet for the 22nd time in women's lacrosse, with the Crimson owning a 18-3 advantage in the all-time series. Last year on March 25, Columbia snapped Harvard's eight-game winning streak in the series with a 14-13 win in New York. Julia Glynn had four goals and three assists, Keeley MacAfee added four goals and an assist, and Robyn White scored three early goals to lead the Harvard offensive attack. Olivia Gundrum made 17 saves in net. Harvard scored five straight goals in the final 7:29 of the contest, but it's late game rally came up just short.
Harvard will play a midweek contest on Wednesday (April 10) against UMass-Lowell at Harvard Stadium. The game will air on NESN and ESPN+.