CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's lacrosse team (5-4, 2-0 Ivy) built an 8-4 lead with 20 minutes to go, but Stanford (7-2) rallied, scoring six of the game's final seven goals, to take a 10-9 decision over the Crimson Tuesday at Harvard Stadium.
The heavy rain throughout the game caused the ball to change hands a total of 50 times, as both teams committed 25 turnovers. The squads also posted an equal number of draw controls, 10, and successful clears, 16. The Cardinal built its comeback, outshooting the Crimson, 18-5, over the final 30 minutes of the game after Harvard had led in that category, 14-6, in the opening stanza.
Senior Marisa Romeo led Harvard offensively, recording a hat trick and five points on the evening. It marks the seventh time in nine games she has scored at least three goals and posted five points this season. The Harvard defense accumulated 20 caused turnovers on the night, with Megan Hennessey, Nicole Baiocco and Emma Ford forcing three. Meredith Brown turned away nine shots on the night, as Harvard held a Stanford offense that came into the game averaging 16 goals per game, to just 10.
Stanford opened the scoring with Anna Salemo's first of three goals on the night 3:13 into the game. Harvard responded with the next four tallies from four different student-athletes. Romeo notched her first with 22:03 to go in the half, followed by Keeley MacAfee, Caroline Garrity from a free-position attempt and Maeve McMahon on a behind-the-head goal almost midway through the period.
Harvard's defense held the Cardinal quiet for over 12 minutes during that span, until Elizabeth Cusick scored at 14:44 and 7:45 to close the gap to one. The Crimson pushed the lead back out to three with eight second left in the first, as MacAfee made a jostling move on a Stanford defender, causing her to fall, leaving the lane to the goal wide open for the Crimson sophomore to bury her second of the half.
Stanford struck first in the second half, but Harvard regained the momentum with scores from Eliza Guild and Romeo, her 30th of the season, pushing the lead to 8-4 with 20:21 to play. Stanford used two man-up goals over the next seven minutes to cut the deficit in half, and then Salemo scored with 12:06 to play to make it an 8-7 game. The score remained unchanged for over five minutes until 6:28 when Dillon Schoen knotted the game at 8-8.
The Cardinal took its first lead since the opening score of the game with 5:05 to play, when Cusick found the mesh. Maeve McMahon looked to provide the heroics for the Crimson, netting the equalizer at 9-9 with 25 seconds remaining, but Cusick struck again with just 1.7 seconds remaining to give Stanford the final edge, 10-9.
Harvard's next two games are road Ivy League contests, visiting Dartmouth this Saturday before an April 8 trip to No. 8 Princeton.