Weis and the Crimson nearly upset No. Syracuse. (Penny Ashford)
DeLAND, Fla. – Harvard women's lacrosse faced off against No. 5 Syracuse, Saturday night, in its first match of a two-game Florida road trip. The Crimson and Orange played out a nail-bitter with Syracuse coming out on top 11-10.
The Crimson (2-2) offense was powered by sophomore Maeve McMahon's game-high four goals. Audrey Todd and Marisa Romeo added two goals of their own, while Megan Hennessey finished with game-high three assists. Kelly Weis finished the night with 12 saves for the Crimson and a team-best four ground balls, while Alexis Nicolia led Harvard with four draw controls.
One of the differences in the games was the Orange (7-2) going 3-6 on free position shots, while Harvard went 1-1. Syracuse keeper Kelsey Richardson made four total saves.
The Crimson came out fast in the first half, taking an early, 2-1, lead. Harvard then went on a 3-0 run sparked by Audrey Todd, pushing Harvard's lead to 4-1. The Syracuse offense started to click soon after, scoring the next three goals.
With six minutes left in the first, Todd netted her second goal of the game, give the Crimson a 6-5 advantage. Harvard closed the second half with two unanswered goals from Todd and McMahon, both assisted by Hennessey.
The Orange wasted no time getting back in the game with three goals in less than two minute apart to open the second half, bringing the score to 8-7 in favor of Syracuse. Harvard got on the board in the 18th minute of the second thanks to a strike from Nekele McCall, tying the game up on the first shot of the half for the Crimson. Syracuse regained the lead at 9-8 a minute later. Syracuse remained hot on offense, ripping off two quick goals to go up 10-8 with 15 minutes left to play.
The Crimson continued to fight in the second half cutting the Orange's lead to 10-9, thanks to McMahon's third of the night. After a defensive struggle to close out the game, McMahon snapped the back of the net for a fourth time with a minute left to play but it was not enough as the Crimson eventually fell to Syracuse, 11-10.
Harvard will remain in DeLand to face Stetson Monday, March 16 at 6 p.m.