Field hockey defeats Harvard 1-0 in sudden-death overtime
By Ben Levander
Published on Tuesday, November 2, 2010
With both the Big Green’s and Harvard University’s (3-13, 1-5 Ivy) field hockey teams down to just seven players and the score tied 0-0 in sudden-death overtime on Homecoming, Lisa Masini ’13 corralled a loose ball at the edge of Harvard’s box, twisted right, then fired the ball into the lower left corner of the goal for the victory. The Dartmouth field hockey team (10-6, 3-3 Ivy) followed up its last-minute Homecoming win by crushing the University of Vermont (5-13, 0-5 America East), 9-4, on Senior Day Sunday to close out a successful weekend.
The game-winning goal snapped the Big Green’s four-game losing streak and propelled the team into fourth place in the Ivy League.
With one game left, the team could finish third in the League if it bests Cornell University.
“The ball came to me and I was unmarked,” Masini said. “I just had to put it in, then all my teammates rushed the field to celebrate. The win was a great confidence boost going into our last Ivy game, and it was a great time for us to finally get back into a winning streak.”
Co-captain Claire Byrne ’11 said Dartmouth benefitted greatly from the return of “team-MVP” and co-captain Virginia Peisch ’11 who was injured last week.
“We lost Peisch and Kelly Hood [’12] to injury during the Yale game,” Byrne said. “They were the two center players in our midfield — the backbone of the team. Virginia is so reliable, dynamic and strong on the ball, so it was great for our morale and spirit to get her back.”
The Big Green entered Saturday’s game against Harvard knowing it would have to shut down junior midfielder Carly Dickson to stop Harvard’s offense, according to Peisch.
“Almost all of Harvard’s plays go through number seven [Dickson],” Peisch said. “We talked about her a few times in pre-game scouting sessions, but we focused on our own game during practice. We knew if we played our game for 70 minutes, we could win, regardless of who they had on the field.”
Head coach Amy Fowler said that the win over Harvard is significant for the Big Green.
“Whenever we play Harvard, we have such a battle — neither team ever gives up,” Fowler said. “We’ve now been able to put back-to-back winning seasons together. That kind of success puts the program back on track.”
After its clean sheet against Harvard the Big Green netted a season-high nine goals against Vermont the next day.
Masini gave the Big Green a 3-2 lead at the end of the first half — a lead the team would not relinquish. The first half also saw two scores from Byrne.
In the second half, the Big Green outshot Vermont 16 to two, with an overall 29 shots to Vermont’s six.
“All five of the seniors on the team scored against Vermont, so we couldn’t have had a cooler result for their Senior Day,” Fowler said. “We did well on the attacking side to score nine goals, but the game wasn’t as much of a blow-out as the score shows. Vermont was threatening all game, and they executed impressively on their corners.”
The Big Green needs to carry its momentum into the final game of the season against Cornell this weekend, according to Byrne. The seniors on the team have never beaten Cornell, but an upset would give the team a winning Ivy League record and move them into a tie for third place with Cornell, Cornell is currently 4-2 in Ivy League results.
“The Cornell game is do-or-die for where we finish in the Ivy League,” Fowler said. “We’re out of the top two spots after our losses to Columbia [University] and Yale [University], so the game against Cornell is now the biggest of the season. We’re fighting for third place.”
The Dartmouth field hockey team will finish its season in Ithaca, N.Y., at noon on Saturday.