No. 7 Virginia Fights Off a Harvard Comeback in High Scoring Affair, 19-18
BOSTON, Mass. – Four Cavaliers notched hat tricks for the No. 7 Virginia women’s lacrosse team Sunday afternoon, as the Cavaliers defeated Harvard in a high scoring affair, 19-18. Virginia fought off a late five-goal rally from the Crimson that evened the score at 17, before scoring two of the games final three goals to earn the victory. With the win, Virginia bumps to 7-5 on the season, while Harvard falls to 4-4.
Juniors Ainsley Baker, Charlie Finnigan and Josie Owen each notched four goals on the day, while sophomore Annie Thomas tied a career-high with three scores. Finnigan tacked on two assists for a game-high six points, while Owen, Baker and junior Julie Gardner each had five points. Gardner scored two goals and tacked on two assists.
The Cavaliers also received a goal from senior All-American Liz Downs – the first of her career – and freshman Maddy Keeshan.
Jess Halpern and Jen VanderMuelen led Harvard with five goals each, while Melanie Baskind had three goals and one assist.
Harvard and Virginia traded scores throughout the beginning of the game, with the score being tied at one, two and three, before the Cavaliers used a string of four-straight goals to pull ahead, 7-3. Owen started the streak with a goal from Baker at 14:59, before Finnigan converted a free position shot to give Virginia a 5-3 lead. Baker tacked on a goal from Gardner at 9:29 and Finnigan capped off the run with a goal 16 seconds later.
The Crimson halted the streak with a free position shot at 8:05, but back-to-back goals from Gardner and Baker gave Virginia a 9-4 lead. Harvard scored its final goal of the half at 3:05, before a goal from Owen at 2:26 gave Virginia a 10-5 halftime advantage.
Harvard opened the scoring in the second half with a goal at 28:07 and added a second score less than two minutes later.
Thomas got Virginia on the board at 25:42 and the Crimson tacked on another to bring the score to 11-8. Owen converted a free position shot at 21:05, before Downs fired her first career goal into the net on an 8-meter attempt at the 18:25 mark, giving Virginia a 13-8 lead.
The Cavaliers scored two of the next three goals, but Harvard responded with three of the next four to bring the score to 16-12, in favor of Virginia. Thomas scored her third goal of the day at 9:49, but Harvard responded with five-straight goals in less than two minutes to knot the score at 17 all.
A goal from Gardner at 6:05 gave Virginia the lead, 18-17, before Finnigan found Owen for a score at 5:50. The next five minutes were scoreless before Harvard closed out the game with a goal at the 53-second mark to bring the final score to 19-18.
Owen finished the game with six draw controls, while junior Bailey Fogarty had five.
Defensively, Downs caused two turnovers, while Finnigan and senior Marghi Walters each had three ground balls.
In goal, sophomore Kim Kolarik picked up nine saves.
Virginia will return to action on Wednesday, as the Cavaliers return home to host its final ACC rival, in-state foe Virginia Tech, in Klöckner Stadium at 7 p.m.