History!: Yale Beats Harvard for the First Time in 20 Years

History!: Yale Beats Harvard for the First Time in 20 Years

Nov. 12, 2004

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New Haven, CT - Sarah Love made 48 saves and captain Erin Duggan scored the game-winner as Yale beat Harvard 3-2 at Ingalls Rink for the Bulldogs' first victory over their archrivals since November 18, 1984. The win marks a significant stepping stone for Yale, which has been on the upswing ever since a 3-23-2 season in 2000-01. The Bulldogs had nearly knocked off the Crimson last year before a goal with seven seconds left gave Harvard a 1-0 win.

"This is what I came to Yale for," said Duggan. "This game took four years and it's definitely the turning point of this program. It shows how far our team has come - I remember my freshman year we'd lose to this team 8-1 or 9-1 and just because they didn't get 10 goals that was a feat."

Duggan's classmate Nicole Symington opened the scoring at 3:16 of the first, knocking a rebound of a Kelsey Johnson shot through Harvard goalie Emily Vitt's pads. Love made 16 saves in the period to maintain the lead heading into the first intermission.

Johnson increased the Bulldog lead to 2-0 by putting a seemingly harmless shot on goal that wound up bouncing through Vitt's five hole at 4:13 of the second. It was a fitting reward for the sophomore.

"Kelsey Johnson had a great game," head coach Hilary Witt said. "She set the tone in the first period for us."

The Crimson's Caitlin Cahow converted on a power play at 10:07 to pull Harvard within one. That would wind up being Harvard's only power-play goal in eight chances. The tightly-played game hinged on Duggan's goal at 9:16 of the third.

"Right off the faceoff Kelsey Johnson won it, and Sheila [Zingler] did a great job tying up her winger," Duggan said. "I saw the puck laying there and I just carried it down into the corner. I saw Kelsey out front wide open and I tried to hit her with a pass. It hit a stick. Sheila was lucky enough to get the rebound. I just came around the back of the net and it was sitting on the goalline, so I just put it in."

That resulted in an emotional celebration that helped ease some of the tension, but things got interesting again just over three minutes later. Harvard's Carrie Schroyer's goal was waved off at first, then put back on the board after a long consultation by the officials.

The one-goal margin seemed even slimmer once the Crimson got a 5-on-3 with 6:12 to go, but the Bulldogs killed off that thanks to some key saves from Love. The game wasn't officially sealed until the waning moments, when a Yale penalty with 19 seconds to play resulted in a faceoff in the Eli zone. Harvard had already pulled Vitt, but the extra skaters did not matter as Yale's Kristin Savard won the faceoff and the Bulldogs cleared the puck.

"I'm most happy for my seniors," said Witt, who has more wins in just over two seasons at Yale (24) than all but two coaches in team history. "Erin Duggan and Nicole Symington and Ali Turney have been outstanding as a senior class. They are such great leaders. They worked so hard to get to this point to beat that team. Obviously we're happy for everybody but for those three kids, this is monumental."

Love noted how far the team has come recently, including bouncing back from a 9-1 loss to No. 2 Dartmouth last week.

"This game we just wanted to go out there, with the big loss to Dartmouth last weekend, and prove what kind of team we are - prove that that wasn't who we are," Love said. "We just wanted to go out there and beat them. Since 1984 ... It's been a long time coming."

Yale hosts No. 8 Brown on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. Live stats from the game will be available on Gametracker through the women's hockey schedule page, and tickets are available at Ingalls one hour prior to the game.

report by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity Department