Halpern and Crimson Knock Off No. 20 Cornell

Ithaca, N.Y. - Sophomore Jess Halpern scored four goals and added an assist as the Harvard women’s lacrosse team turned a one-point halftime lead into a 11-7 victory over No. 20 Cornell Saturday afternoon. The Crimson defense and goalie Katherine Martino shut out the Big Red defense in the second half, holding them without a goal.

The win snaps a five-game losing streak for the Crimson and is also the first win over a ranked opponent for a current member of the team. Harvard finishes its Ivy League campaign with a 2-5 record and currently sports a 5-10 overall record. Cornell falls to 9-6 overall and 3-4 in Ancient Eight play.

Halpern was one of six Crimson players to find the back of the net. Senior Kaitlin Martin and junior tri-captain Sara Flood added a goal each, while freshman Katie Doherty had a goal and an assist. Freshman Tyler Petropulos and senior tri-captain Shannon Flynn had a goal apiece.

The Crimson scored first with an unassisted Halpern tally before Cornell put back-to-back goals in to take a 2-1 lead three minutes later. Halpern put two more goals in for her 11th hat trick of the season, putting the lead back in the visitors’ hands. Jessica Weigland tied it up at three with a free position goal, but the Crimson scored five-straight which included a pair from Flood to take an 8-3 lead with 12:52 left in the first half. The last 11 minutes of the half belong to the Big Red who fired off four goals to pull within one of Harvard’s lead.

Halpern and Martin scored free position goals and Doherty added another tally with 14 minutes to play but that was the only scoring in the second session as the final 30 minutes were all about defense. Cornell only had six shots in the second half and Martino stopped three of them. Martino had eight saves in 60 minutes of work in the net.

Both teams had 22 shots in the game. Cornell held the advantage in draw controls, 11-9, and ground balls, 17-13. The Big Red also had 18 turnovers compared to 15 for the Crimson.

Doherty, Flood and Martin had two draw controls each, while freshman Ellen Gleason, junior Delia Pais and Martino had two ground balls each.

The Crimson closes out the 2009 campaign Thursday against Boston College. Game time is slated for 4:30 p.m. in Chestnut Hill.