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Second Half Rally Closes the Gap Against No. 9 Virginia

Cambridge, Mass. – Sophomore Jess Halpern scored four of Harvard’s six goals in the second half to close the gap against No. 9 Virginia, but the Cavaliers used a first half cushion to prevail, 13-9, Sunday afternoon at Harvard Stadium.

The Crimson (4-7) scored four of the last six goals of the game and held the Caveliers (9-5) scoreless for the final 7:44 of the game. It was Harvard’s second game against a top-10 opponent in as many days.

Senior Kaitlin Martin led the Crimson with five points on two goals and three assists. Senior Shannon Flynn, junior Sara Flood and sophomore Katie Doherty each had one goal. Kaitlin Duff paced Virginia with four goals.

Virginia’s Jenny Houser started the scoring off just over five minutes into the game, but it was the Crimson that took control on offense. Harvard scored three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead after 15 minutes of action. Martin had two assists and a goal during that stretch, while Flood had a goal and an assist. Doherty scored the other goal during that stretch. Unfortunately that was all the scoring the Crimson would muster in the first 20 minutes as Virginia tallied six scores in the final 13:46 of the first half to take a 7-3 lead into the halftime break.

The Cavaliers didn’t back down when player resumed as Virginia used three goals in the first six minutes of play to extend its lead to 10-3. Martin got the Crimson on the board for the first time in the second session with 21:25 left to play. A little less than four minutes later, Halpern scored her first tally of the game. Virginia interrupted the Crimson stretch with a scored at 16:36, but Halpern put two more shots into the net to close the gap at 11-7.

Two goals from the visiting team in less than two minutes allowed Virginia move ahead by five. The Crimson continued its come back with another Halpern score and a goal from Flynn to make it a four-point game with 1:10 left on the clock. Neither team scored again as Virginia picked up is second win in two days.

Halpern not only led the Crimson in goals on the day, she also won a game-high five draw controls and equaled freshman Ellen Gleason with a team-high three ground balls. Freshman Kerry Clark stopped 10 shots in net for her fifth double-digit save effort.

The Crimson continues its stretch of games against nationally ranked opponents when it travels to No. 7 Princeton, Saturday April 11. Game time is slated for noon.