HANOVER, N.H. – Freshman Bente van Vlijmen scored a natural hat trick over the course of 12:01 game time, guiding the No. 16 Harvard field hockey team (11-5, 6-0 Ivy) to a 3-1 victory at Dartmouth (4-11, 0-6 Ivy) Saturday.
The victory, in conjunction with No. 13 Princeton's 3-2 overtime loss at Cornell, gives Harvard the outright Ivy League title, its first conference championship since 2004 and fourth-ever in program history. The championship earns Harvard the Ivy League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The selection show for that event will be held Sunday, Nov. 6 at 10 p.m.
It was all Harvard Saturday, outshooting Dartmouth, 27-5. The Crimson placed 17 of those shots on net, while the Big Green only placed three on the cage. Libby Manela and Olivia Startup each saw time in goal for Harvard, each making one save.
van Vlijmen's first goal came at 40:42 when she rocketed a shot through the goaltender's legs, sending Harvard to the intermission ahead, 1-0. In the 50th minute, van Vlijmen connected for her second goal of the game. Harvard worked the ball in the zone after a penalty corner before Emily Duarte set up van Vlijmen for the tally.
The Zeist, The Netherlands native completed the hat trick, the first of her career, less than three minutes later. She dribbled the ball to the left of the Dartmouth cage before ripping off another blast that beat the netminder and put Harvard ahead, 3-0. She now has seven goals during her rookie campaign.
Morgan Philie scored for the Big Green in the 68th minute to keep the home team from being shutout.
The 11 wins for Harvard this season are the most under head coach Tjerk van Herwaarden, who took over the program prior to the 2012 season. It is also the highest win total for Harvard since its last Ivy title season in 2004.