When every game can make or break its Ivy League championship hopes, the women’s lacrosse team has little choice but to win if it wants a shot at the title. Throw in the traditional Harvard-Yale rivalry and you can expect nothing less than a showdown at Johnson Field on Saturday.
The No. 14 Bulldogs (6-3, 1-1 Ivy) will host the red-hot Crimson (7-1, 1-0), a squad off to its best start since 1992 and one of three teams that remains undefeated in the Ancient Eight, at 1 p.m. tomorrow. Coming off an 18-3 trouncing of UConn on Wednesday, the Elis will be looking to sustain a recent two-game winning streak and prove that they are still a force to be reckoned with in the Ivy League.
“Like UConn, we hope to outplay them right from the start and take them out of the game early,” captain Kat Peetz ’08 said. “They have been playing well, so we definitely need to take the game seriously and play our own game.”
After a lackluster 2007 campaign, Harvard — under the leadership of first-year head coach Lisa Miller — has turned things around this season, racking up seven wins in its first eight games and asserting itself as one of the top offensive teams in the country. The sole blemish on the Cantabs’ season so far was a 16-5 loss to New Hampshire, a squad that also snuck past the Elis, 8-7, before spring break.
And the history of the series is as even as the predictions for tomorrow’s game: Yale is 17-17-1 against Harvard all time. The Bulldogs took a 17-8 victory over the Crimson on the road last year, but the last time the two teams met in New Haven, Harvard snapped a six-game losing streak to Yale with an 11-8 win.
“Our upperclassmen remember very well the last time they came to campus and upset us on our turf,” head coach Laura Field said. “Harvard is putting up big numbers in the games they have played and are a very talented and athletic team. For us to win the game, we need to take the lessons of hard work and team play that we’ve displayed in the past week and bring them to the field.”