The No. 13 Crimson will host 10 home games in 2012 including a matchup with No. 14 Syracuse at Gillette Stadium (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Harvard women’s lacrosse team has been ranked No. 13 in the 2012 Inside Lacrosse preseason poll and has released its 2012 schedule, which features nine teams included in the poll and seven that competed in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The Crimson will also play on one of the sport’s biggest stages when it hosts Syracuse at Gillette Stadium.
"We are fortunate to play in one of the most competitive lacrosse conferences in the country,” Head Coach Lisa Miller commented. “Our staff has tried to build a non-conference schedule that prepares us to compete for an Ivy title, puts the program in a position to receive an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament, and gives our student-athletes the ability to test themselves against the best."
Harvard finished the 2011 season ranked 20th in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) poll, marking the team’s first appearance in the poll since 1997. The Crimson posted a 10-6 overall record and went 5-2 in Ivy League play, recording the team’s highest overall and conference win totals since 1994. Harvard finished tied for third place in the Ivy League regular season standings and advanced to the tournament championship, where it fell to 14th-ranked Princeton, 12-10.
The Crimson led the Ancient Eight and ranked 29th nationally with 12.19 goals per game, while its 10.25 goals against average was 32nd in the NCAA. Harvard also ranked 22nd in the NCAA in win percentage (62.5) and 27th in scoring margin (+1.94).
The Crimson return 23 student-athletes from last year’s squad including one All-America honoree, three all-region selections and five all-Ivy picks. Junior Jennifer VanderMeulen headlines the group after being named to the Synapse Sports All-America second team, IWLCA All-Region first team and All-Ivy League first team. VanderMeulen ranked 18th in the NCAA with 3.0 goals per game in 2011 and was 30th in the country with 48 goals.
Junior Danielle Tetreault was a first team all-region and second team all-Ivy selection while senior Melanie Baskind was named to the all-region second team and all-Ivy first team. Tetreault ranked 31st in the nation with 2.63 goals per game a year ago as Baskind finished her campaign with 34 points on 28 goals and six assists. Senior Ellen Gleason was also named to the All-Ivy League second team and classmate Jess Halpern was an honorable mention selection.
The Crimson will start its 2012 campaign with three-straight home games, beginning Feb. 25 against local rival Boston University. Harvard is slated to see its first Ivy League action against Cornell on March 3, before welcoming James Madison, ranked 18th by Inside Lacrosse, to Cambridge March 6.
Harvard will take to the road for the first time March 10 at Penn, facing a Quakers team ranked sixth in the preseason poll. The road trip continues March 17 at No. 20 Johns Hopkins.
The Crimson returns home against 10th-ranked Boston College March 21. A trip to Yale awaits Harvard on March 24, and on March 28 19th-ranked Stanford will visit Cambridge.
Harvard will face No. 14 Syracuse at Gillette Stadium on March 31. The game will be part of a double header, with No. 1 Northwestern and No. 16 Ohio State squaring off in the second game. Gillette Stadium, located in Foxborough, Mass., is the home of the three-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and has hosted two NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships.
The Crimson will head back out on the road April 2 for a meeting at No. 8 Virginia, with Brown coming to town April 7 to kick off a three-game stretch at home. Harvard will also face the Crusaders of Holy Cross (April 11) and No. 7 Princeton (April 14) during the home stand.
Harvard will head out on the road once more with a trip to Columbia (April 21) before hosting its regular-season finale April 27 against No. 9 Dartmouth
The Ivy League Tournament will take place May 4-6 at the home site of the Ivy League regular season champion. Three of the four teams which competed in last year’s tournament advanced to the NCAA Tournament, including Penn, Dartmouth and Princeton, while the Crimson fell just short with a 12-10 loss to Princeton in the championship game.