The Harvard men's lacrosse team has picked up the Princeton jinx.
Late last April the Crimson was in the thick of the Ivy League title chase when the Tigers knocked them out with a 10-6 decision.
When Harvard headed to New Jeresy on Saturday, its goals were somewhat more modest than a year earlier--scoring 10 goals in a game for the first time this year, perhaps, and lengthening the two-game winning streak that held promise for salvaging the Crimson's season after some early disasters
But once again, Princeton frustrated Harvard, holding the visitors to nine goals, while scoring 13 itself and lowering the Crimson record to 1-4 in the Ivies. Instead of pulling to within one game of 500 overall. Harvard dropped to 3-6.
The scoring of the game paralleled the Crimson's fortunes so far over the season. After a rocky start. Harvard continually threatened to pull even, faltering every time if came in striking range.
A first quarter in which Princeton kept control of the ball most of the time left the Crimson with a 3-1 deficit. Harvard managed to get its game together after that, but could never keep it that way in the crucial spots "When it really counted--every time we came within a goal--we didn't play well." said defender Brian Edmonds.
"On the whole we're playing better than before, but we couldn't keep it going for the whole game," added attackman Steve Bartenfelder, who notched three goals and an assist in the game.
Harvard played its hosts to an even second quarter, leaving the Tigers with a 6-4 halftime lead. In the first few seconds of the second half, freshman attackman Chris Pujols scored one of his three goals on the afternoon to bring Harvard within one. But two quick Princeton goals made it 8-5.
Pujols narrowed it to 10-9 2:55 into the fourth quarter. And with Princeton's top two goalies injured. Harvard put good pressure on third-stringer. Tim Krongrad down the stretch. Not an especially graceful goaltender, several of his 12 saves were shots that bounced off his chest. But he did the job, and the three goals in the final minutes were all in the Crimson net.
THE NOTEBOOK Gerry Ronon, a second-learn All-Ivy attackman last season, was Princeton's big gun Saturday, according for four goals and three assists...Freshman Rufus Clark scored his first goal of the season, while Peter Follows and Rob Hawley also tallied...Goalie Tim Pendergast had 19 saves for the Crimson. Harvard will host UMass, one of New England's tougher teams, Wednesday at 3 p.m.