Crimson staff writer
Mairead B. Baker
This famed four-quarter duel is more than just a game: it's a hallmark of the student experience at Harvard and Yale. But this year, there’s more on the line than just bragging rights — while the Crimson has already clinched a share of the Ivy League title, its hated rival from New Haven can grab a share of their own with a win on Saturday at the Yale Bowl.
Sometimes, history has a way of repeating itself. Two years after making its deepest run in the NCAA tournament yet, No. 9 Harvard field hockey has found itself in a similar situation with a bid from the Ivy League and a November weekend plane ticket to some top-ranked school. But the Crimson only punched this ticket after the installation of the Ivy League’s new four-team, post-season tournament — of which it stands as the inaugural champions.
“My heart is on fire.” That’s what 2012 Olympic gold-medalist and European champion Natliia Dovgodko described when asked how she feels heading into the 2023 Head of the Charles Regatta to represent her home country, Ukraine.
With 16 games on the schedule this season, No. 14 Harvard field hockey only has eight battles left. Most recently, it drew the losing straw in a double-overtime quarrel with No. 4 Duke University — its only loss since a one-goal defeat to No. 7 University of Virginia back in early September. Over the first month of the campaign, the Crimson has been building up strength for its imminent Ivy League season.
After a 2-0 start to the season in a pair of matches against the University of Massachusetts and the University of Connecticut, No. 14 Harvard field hockey has begun its quest toward both the Ivy League and NCAA tournaments. However, a few things have changed since Harvard last took to Berylson Field in the spring, including new goalies, a fresh set of competitive first-years, and the Ivy League has changed the rules of its tournament — an impactful change that may work in Harvard’s favor.
Jenny Allard, a member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame, departed Harvard after a nearly three-decade tenure to become the new head softball coach at the University of Pittsburgh.
Until March 14, 1998, a No. 16 seed had never beaten a No. 1 seed in either the men’s or women’s postseason basketball tournament. Then, the Harvard women’s basketball team played Stanford.
At The Harvard Crimson, we have had the privilege to cover all of the action. From storied rivalries to dominant performances to heartbreaking defeats, our reporters across every varsity sport have sought to bring the stories behind Harvard Athletics to life. Driven and committed athletes have fought through tremendous adversity to compete at an elite level, persevering through injuries and defeats in their pursuit of excellence as student-athletes. On the sidelines, visionary and inspiring coaches, established campus legends, and rookies alike, have continued to set a high standard of achievement and drive Crimson competitors to be their very best.
Some Harvard students devote most of their time to studies, others spend hours split between the classroom and the field, while others begin their morning in one jersey and end their day in another. Well, just one: graduating senior and women’s basketball captain Maggie McCarthy.
Coming into collegiate athletics, an uncomfortable adjustment for many Division I athletes is no longer being in the starting lineup, playing in every game, or racking in the most minutes played. For Bronte-May Brough, a first-year on Harvard’s top-notch field hockey team, it was quite the opposite.