Field Hockey Drops Season Opener at Holy Cross, 2-1

Field Hockey Drops Season Opener at Holy Cross, 2-1

Elizabeth Jacobson had a late scoring chance for Harvard, but Holy Cross held on for the win (Gil Talbot).

WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior Marissa Balleza scored Harvard's first goal of the season with just under 10 minutes left Friday night, but Holy Cross' two early goals held up, as the Crusaders captured a 2-1 victory at Hart Turf Field.

Both squads finished the contest with three shots on goal and after a slow start, Harvard ended the game with an 8-5 advantage in shots. Holy Cross finished with a 4-2 edge in penalty corners.

Holy Cross got on the board at the 16:55 mark with Michelle McNeil's second of the season. McNeil's first attempt was turned away by Harvard goalie Issy Davies, but the Crusaders' senior was able to collect the rebound and score on her second chance.

The 1-0 lead held through the early stages of the second half for Holy Cross, before adding its second goal in the 43rd minute. Haley Makuch fired a shot towards the middle of the circle where Maureen Connolly deflected the ball into the back of the cage for her first of the season.

Harvard had a quality opportunity to get on the board about eight minutes later when Balleza rung a shot off the post and had her rebound attempt blocked away. Balleza though, came through with 10 minutes remaining in the contest, finding the top corner of the cage after dribbling down the right side past the defense.

The Crimson had two penalty corners and two more shot attempts down the stretch, but Elizabeth Jacobson's shot on goal was stopped by the Holy Cross keeper, while Kathleen Young's shot with less than three minutes remaining missed wide left.

Harvard returns to action Monday afternoon, hosting the Bryant Bulldogs in its home opener at 1 p.m. The game can be seen live on the Ivy League Digital Network.