Historic Year For No. 6 Field Hockey Comes To End; Crimson Falls, 2-1 at No. 4 Princeton

Harvard's historic year came to an end on Sunday in an NCAA quarterfinal contest against Princeton. (Shelley Szwast)

A fantastic 2018 season for No. 6 Harvard field hockey (17-2) came to an end on Sunday afternoon, as the Crimson fell, 2-1, to No. 4 Princeton (15-4) in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament.

Senior captain Kathleen Young scored for the Crimson, and first-year goalkeeper Ellie Shahbo made four saves.

Princeton held a 13-5 advantage in shots, and a 6-3 margin on penalty corners.

But it was Harvard that scored the game's first goal, early in the second half.

After a Princeton green card, a great series of passes led to Young's go-ahead score. Junior Maddie Earle connected with Young right in front, and Young finished the play from in close to give Harvard a 1-0 lead at 41:06.

Harvard made several great defensive plays down the stretch as it attempted to hold its lead, but Princeton earned a penalty stroke and converted at 58:26 to tie the game.

Then the Tigers took the lead on a penalty corner at 64:59. Harvard had one last flurry with just over two minutes to play, but junior Bente van Vlijmen's reverse stick shot was turned away from the Princeton defense.

Early on, it was Harvard's defense that was the story. Senior Olivia Allin came up with a defensive save on an early chance for the Tigers and it was the Crimson consistently keeping Princeton out of the key scoring areas despite the Tigers' possession advantage. 

Harvard had a great scoring chance with 12:00 to play in the first half, as a great pass from Casey Allen found Tessel Huibregtsen, whose redirection was kicked away by the Princeton goalkeeper. 

The Crimson had two penalty corners late in the first half but could not convert on either.

Harvard Highlights

  • Senior Kathleen Young (goal) finishes her Harvard career with 66 points (26 goals, 14 assists), tied for ninth on the school's all-time scoring list.
  • Junior Maddie Earle (assist) finished the year with 38 points (16 goals, six assists), the third-most in a single season by any Harvard player.
  • Senior Olivia Allin added a defensive save, the second of her career.

  Game Notes

  • Harvard's senior class finishes its career with 51 wins, the most of any group in program history.
  • A dream regular season for No. 6 Harvard field hockey has seen several team records fall:

Most wins in a season (17)
Longest winning streak (14)
Highest national ranking (No. 6)
Most hat tricks (4)

  • Harvard broke the previous program record for wins (13), set in 2017. The Crimson won 14 games in a row, breaking the previous mark (8), set in 2016. Harvard cracked the top 10 for the first time ever and brings its highest national ranking into the NCAA Tournament. Harvard had four hat tricks this season (Maddie Earle - vs. Maine, vs. Cornell; Natalie Sicher vs. UMass; Bente van Vlijmen vs. Holy Cross),