Noel Painter scored her first goal of the season Saturday afternoon againts Yale (photo Justine Agaloos).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Noel Painter gave the Harvard field hockey team a second life with a game-tying goal late in the second half, but the Crimson eventually dropped its Ivy League opener, 2-1, to Yale in overtime. The Bulldogs found the back of the cage 12:42 minutes into overtime for a sudden victory.
Harvard (1-4, 0-1 Ivy League) and Yale (2-2, 1-0 Ivy League) played an even first half, but Yale took a 1-0 lead into halftime. The Crimson had multiple opportunities to score in the first 35 minutes, including seven chances on penalty corners. Yale took just three corners in the first half and had six shots, but the Bulldogs' Mary Beth Barham was the lone player to score. Barham took a shot that was saved by Harvard's Cynthia Tassopoulos before regaining control of the rebound and firing past the Crimson goalie.
Tassopoulous made three saves in the first half, including a brilliant diving effort on what looked like a sure goal for Yale's Nicole Wells early in the opening frame.
The Crimson delivered constant pressure in the second half, gaining momentum and opportunities throughout, but remained down a goal until Painter tallied the tying score. Painter inserted the ball off a penalty corner with just over four minutes remaing, where it was stopped and Caitlin Rea fired back to the middle. There Painter deflected the ball straight to the top of the cage and past Yale's Emily Cain to knot the score at 1-1 and send the game to overtime.
In OT, Harvard had one shot, a wide attempt from Caroline McNeill, compared to Yale's five shots. At the 82' of the contest, Yale's Barham had an attempt blocked, then instantly regained control and fired into the bottom left corner of the goal from the right side for the winner.
Harvard and Yale ended the afternoon tied in shots, 15-15, and penalty corners, 13-13. Tassopoulous made six saves.
The Crimson makes its first Ivy League trip of the year when it visits Penn Sept. 22.