No. 16 Women's Lacrosse Opens Ivy League Play Saturday With Cornell

No. 16 Women's Lacrosse Opens Ivy League Play Saturday With Cornell

Harvard is seeking its first 2-0 start since going 3-0 to open the 2008 campaign (Gil Talbot).

The Storyline
The No. 16 Harvard women's lacrosse team will open its Ivy League schedule this weekend when Cornell visits Soldier Field Lacrosse Stadium Saturday, March 3 at 12 p.m. A win would give the Crimson its first 2-0 start since going 3-0 to begin the 2008 season.

National Prominence
The Crimson is currently ranked 16th in the deBeer Media Poll and was listed as receiving votes in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Coaches Poll. Harvard finished 2011 ranked 20th in the IWLCA poll, marking the team's first appearance in the rankings since 1997.

Week of
Feb. 27
Feb. 20

deBeer Women's Media Poll

IWLCA Coaches Poll

Last Time Out
The Crimson opened its 2012 campaign Saturday with an 11-9 victory over Boston University at Soldiers Field Lacrosse Stadium.

Melanie Baskind and Jennifer VanderMeulen recorded hat tricks to lead the Crimson offense while Kelly Weis made nine saves in goal to record the win in her first career start. Baskind converted on all three of her shot attempts and also led the team with five ground balls. VanderMeulen, meanwhile, registered six shots with five on goal, and found the back of the net with just 1:12 remaining to give Harvard the final margin.

Jess Halpern added two goals as a total of six Crimson recorded at least one on the day. Mariel Jenkins collected three ground balls and Micaela Cyr added three draw controls with one score.

BU owned a 14-8 advantage in draw controls and outshot Harvard, 25-22, but only 18 of the Terrier attempts were put on goal. Danielle Etrasco and Mallory Collins notched three goals apiece, with Etrasco and Elizabeth Morse recording a team-high three draw controls.

Ivy League Honors
Senior co-captain Melanie Baskind was named the Ivy League's Defensive Player of the Week Feb. 27 after leading the Crimson to an 11-9 season-opening win over Boston University.

Baskind led the Crimson on both the offensive and defensive ends of the field, registering her ninth career hat trick while collecting a game-high five ground balls. The midfielder converted on all three of her shot attempts and also won two draw controls and caused two turnovers.

This is the first weekly award of Baskind's career and Harvard's first defensive player of the week honor since Kathryn Tylander '08 took home the award on March 4, 2008.

Catch the Crimson in 2012
Harvard has announced that 11 home men's and women's lacrosse games will be streamed online from Harvard Stadium during the 2012 season, marking the third straight year fans of Harvard lacrosse will have the opportunity to watch the Crimson live from home.

A total of six women's games will be available to watch, beginning with the Crimson's March 21 showdown with Boston College, its first inside Harvard Stadium. Each home contest for the remainder of the year will be streamed.

A full season pass for either the men's or women's team will be available for just $29.95, while single games can be purchased for $9.95. Click here to sign up for your season pass today.

Tewaaraton Award Watch List
Junior's Jennifer VanderMeulen and Danielle Tetreault were named to the 2012 Tewaaraton Award Watch List, which is comprised of the top 50 women's lacrosse student-athletes from all three divisions of collegiate lacrosse. VanderMeulen and Tetreault are the latest Crimson to be put up for the prestigious award, after current teammates Jess Halpern and Micaela Cyr were nominated in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

VanderMeulen is coming off a season in which she was named to the Synapse Sports All-America second team, IWLCA All-Region first team and All-Ivy League first team after ranking 18th in the NCAA in goals per game (3.0) and 30th in goals (48). She currently ranks 10th in program history with 104 career goals, while her 56 scores in 2010 rank fifth on Harvard's single-season list.

Tetreault was a first team all-region and second team all-Ivy selection a year ago, and ranked 31st in the nation with 2.63 goals per game. Tetreault boasts 62 career goals, 17 assists and 79 points in 31 career games.

Climbing the Charts
Senior Jess Halpern and junior Jennifer VanderMeulen currently rank among Harvard's all-time top 10 goal scorers. Halpern has netted 113 career goals, good for seventh in program history, while her 135 points place her one shy of 10th place in school history. VanderMeulen, meanwhile, ranks ninth with 107 goals in just 32 games and boasts 120 points. Her 56 goals scored in 2010 rank fifth on the Crimson's single-season list.

Can't Stop Her
Junior Jennifer VanderMeulen has scored at least one goal in 31 of her 32 games played. VanderMeulen has registered multiple goals 29 times and has scored at least three goals on 23 occasions.

To Be the Best, You Have to Beat the Best
Harvard has knocked off a top 20 opponent in each of the last three seasons, and will have plenty of opportunities to do it again in 2012. Nine of the Crimson's opponents this season are currently ranked in either the deBeer Media Poll or the IWLCA Preseason Coaches Poll, including Boston College (14/17), Dartmouth (10/15), James Madison (--/13), John's Hopkins (17/20), Penn (8/7), Princeton (7/8), Stanford (20/16), Syracuse (11/9), and Virginia (6/6).

Captaining the Ship
Seniors Melanie Baskind, Ellen Gleason and Tyler Petropulos were voted by their teammates as captains for the 2012 season. Baskind and Petropulos also served as captains last season, making them just the sixth and seventh student-athletes in program history to be voted captain in consecutive seasons. Ceci Clark '92 was the first to do so when she captained both the 1991 and 1992 squads, and was followed by Daphne Clark '97 (1996 & 1997), Ali Harper '01 (2000 & 2001), Lauren Bobzin '08 (2007 & 2008) and Sara Flood '10 (2009 & 2010). This is just the sixth time in program history three Crimson had been chosen to lead the team.

Two-Sport Star Baskind Featured by New England Lacrosse Journal
Senior Melanie Baskind, who captains both the women's lacrosse and women's soccer teams and is an All-Ivy League honoree in both sports, was recently featured by Sammi Gorman of the New England Lacrosse Journal.

"In the city of Boston — a breeding ground for both star athletes and top students at some of the world's best academic institutions — Melanie Baskind is different.

"She's not the only student with a 3.8 grade-point average as a neurobiology major at a top school like Harvard, and she's not the only athlete to get league Player of the Year honors in her sport. She is the only one to do those things and be a threat to earn those kind of honors in two sports."

Click here to read the full article.

Previewing What's To Come
Head coach Lisa Miller recently sat down with to provide insight into what fans can expect to see from the Crimson in 2012.

Banner Year
Harvard posted a 10-6 overall record and went 5-2 in the Ivy League in 2011, recording the team's highest overall and conference win totals since 1994. The Crimson finished in a tie for third place in the Ancient Eight standings, its best showing since a third-place finish in 1996, and was rewarded with one All-America, three all-region and five all-Ivy selections.

Welcome Back
Harvard has welcomed back 23 of 24 members of last year's squad, accounting for 100 percent of its scoring output, 98 percent of its ground balls collected and 94 percent of its caused turnovers. Jennifer VanderMuelen led the Crimson offense with 48 goals and five assists for 53 points, while Danielle Tetreault posted 42 goals and seven assists for 49 points. Jess Halpern (29), Melanie Baskind (28), Tyler Petropulos (14) and Chelsey Newman (10) also registered double-digit goals.

Baskind tallied a team-high 33 ground balls on the defensive side of the ball with Ellen Gleason and Petropulos turning in 23 ground balls and 20 ground balls, respectively. Mariah Pewarski and Lauren Tomkinson posted 16 caused turnovers apiece, while Tetreault's 29 draw controls led the Crimson.

Kerry Clark played every minute in goal for Harvard in 2011, recording a 10-6 overall record with a 10.25 goals against average and 26 ground balls.

Rank and File
Harvard finished its 2011 campaign ranked 22nd in the nation in win percentage (62.5) while its +1.94 scoring margin was good for 27th. The Crimson also ranked 29th in goals per game (12.19) and were 32nd in scoring defense (10.25).

Individually, Jennifer VanderMeulen's 3.0 goals per game placed her 18th in the NCAA while Danielle Tetreault ranked 31st with 2.63 per game. Kerry Clark, meanwhile, owned the 35th-best goals against average in the cage at 10.26.

Historical Perspective
Harvard captured the program's first national championship in 1990 when it defeated Maryland, 8-7. The Crimson won four games that season by a single goal en route to a 15-0 record, with Jenny Walser '90 scoring the game winner in three of those four games, including the national title game. Four-year letterwinners Carroll Clark '90, Karen Everling '90, Julie French '90, and Walser graduated with a career record of 50-8-1, including a perfect 23-0 mark in the Ivy League.

The Crimson has made a total of nine NCAA Tournament appearances and has reached the national championship game three times. Harvard has also won 11 Ivy League Championships, tied with Dartmouth for the most in conference history.

Scouting the Big Red
Cornell opened its season with an 8-7 win at Rutgers on Saturday. Olivia Knotts led the Big Red with three goals, including the game winner with just 52 seconds remaining. Shannon McHugh and Jessi Steinberg netted two goals apiece, while Cacki Helmer collected five ground balls and caused three turnovers to lead the defensive efforts. Kyla Dambach made six saves in goal to pick up the win.

The Big Red posted a 6-8 record in 2011, including a 3-4 mark in Ivy League play. Cornell has returned 10 starters from last year's squad including Steinberg, a member of the Tewaaraton Award Watch List. Steinberg scored 38 goals for the Big Red a year ago and was an All-Ivy League first team selection.

Katie Kirk also returns after tallying 22 goals, 19 ground balls and 19 draw controls, while first team All-Ivy honoree Kate Ivory led the defensive efforts with 37 ground balls and 23 caused turnovers. Dambach posted a 6-8 record in goal in 2011 with a 10.28 goals against average.

Harvard leads the all-time series with Cornell, 22-10, and has won three straight against the Big Red. The teams also opened the Ivy League portion of their schedules against one another last year, with the Crimson coming out on top 13-12 despite a 4-0 run by the Big Red to close the game. Jennifer VanderMeulen led all scorers with four goals in the contest while Kerry Clark made seven saves to pick up the win.