The Crimson overpowered the Raiders with three second-half goals on Sunday. (Gil Talbot)
HAMILTON, N.Y. – Marissa Balleza and Rachael Rosenfeld scored two goals apiece, vaulting the Harvard field hockey team to a 5-2 road victory over Colgate on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Crimson (5-6, 1-3 Ivy League) has won of three of its last four contests and moves to 4-3 away from home.
It was Balleza who started things off for Harvard, one-timing a smooth Catriona McDonald pass in the center of the circle past The Raiders' Caitlin Zoelt 10 minutes into the contest. Most of the opening frame was spent back-and-forth between the teams outside the circle, but nearly 20 minutes after her first tally, last week's Ivy League Rookie of the Week struck again. Balleza notched her team-best sixth goal of the season with a high shot from the very top of the circle to give the Crimson a 2-0 lead.
Colgate retaliated, however, as time was waning in the half. Kelsey Jensen suck a converted penalty corner just by senior Jenn Hatfield to put the Raiders on the board before the horn sounded. Both teams combined for just seven shots in a gritty first half, but the Crimson held a crucial 2-1 lead into the break.
Out of halftime, Harvard continued on a scoring mission. The Crimson peppered the Raiders' cage, and the Colgate defense held until freshman Kaitlyn Boudah took advantage of a setup from McDonald on the left side of the goal, extending Harvard's lead to 3-1 at the 47:05 mark.
It was Colgate's turn to ramp up its attack as the minutes counted down in the second half, and the hosts eventually fired five shots on goal, but Hatfield was impermeable each time. On the fifth save in a row, however, Halle Biggar was able to secure her own rebound and find the back of the cage to cut the Crimson's lead to 3-2 with just over 10 minutes to spare.
Rachael Rosenfeld took control, though, sparking the Crimson attack with two goals in less than two minutes for Harvard. The senior forward tipped in the first of her two scores after Elizabeth Jacobson fed her the ball right in front of the cage. Next, Caitlin Rea pushed a cross-circle pass to Rosenfeld, who swiftly beat Zolet to give Harvard a commanding 5-2 lead with time trickling away.
Colgate got a shot off with just three ticks remaining, but the attempt, too little too late, went wide, securing Harvard's 5-2 win over the Raiders. The Crimson tallied 16 total shots to Colgate's 13, but the Raiders' five second-half corners gave them an 8-5 advantage in the category. Hatfield collected a six saves on the afternoon, her third highest total this year.
Harvard returns to the Boston metro area, but remains on the road to face No. 7 Boston College at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, before hosting defending national champion Princeton on Saturday at noon.