CAMBRIDGE, MASS. - Despite leading by three with 23 minutes to play, a nine-goal second half run by the Crimson propelled Harvard to a 15-9 win over Columbia on Saturday, April 23.
Kacie Johnson had a team-high four goals and an assist, Paige Cuscovitch and Gabrielle Geronimos each added a pair of goals, and Taylor Gattinella's three draw controls pushed her into sole possession of second in career draws. Karlee Blank had 10 saves in goal, marking the sixth time this season she has recorded double-digit saves.
Cuscovitch scored the first two goals of the game to give the Lions an early 2-0 lead. The first-year converted on a free position goal 2:16 into the game, and followed that up 45 seconds later when she finished on a feed from Gatiinella.
Harvard's Jenn VanderMeulen got the Crimson on the board, but Kelly Buechel won the ensuing draw control and pushed the Lions' lead back two on an unassisted goal by Johnson.
A free position goal by Jess Halpern once again pulled Harvard within one, but Columbia score back-to-back goals by Johnson and Gattinella to lead 5-2 with 4:01 to play in the half and prompting a Harvard timeout.
The Crimson scored twice in the final two minutes of the half, including one with three seconds left on the clock to cut Columbia's lead to 5-4 entering the break.
Senior defender Caitlin Mullins won the opening draw of the second half and Columbia pushed its lead back to two on another goal by Johnson.
After a Harvard goal, Geronimos and Johnson each tallied a goal giving the Lions an 8-5 advantage with with 23:29 to go.
Melissa Peterson won the draw off the restart as the Lions continued to attack, but Harvard's Kerry Clark came up with a big stop and the Crimson countered with a free position goal byDanielle Tetreault. The goal prompted a nine-goal run by the Crimson, five of which were free position goals.
Columbia finally broke through the Harvard defense on a goal by Geronimos, her second of the half, after a 22-minute drought with just over a minute to play.
Harvard outshot Columbia 33-19 and dominated the ground ball battle 21-8, while the Lions won 14 draws compared to the Crimson's 11.
Columbia (4-9, 1-5) returns to action on Wednesday, April 27 when it travels to Princeton for a 7 p.m. game.