The Harvard men's lacrosse team fell behind eighth-ranked Massachusetts, 8-3, at halftime of yesterday's contest in Amherst.
But the Crimson wasn't upset.
It had fallen behind St. John's and Penn at halftime earlier in the season and won.
Even when Harvard was still losing, 10-6, early in the fourth quarter, it wasn't disturbed.
These are the Crimson come-back kids. And pulling out late-game victories has become their trade mark.
But despite Rufus Clark's two late-game goals and a stellar perfomance from goalie Mark Vita, Harvard couldn't pull this one out, losing 10-9 to the Minutemen before 1500 chilly spectators at Boyden Field.
The Crimson (now 6-4 overall) had a man-advantage for the last minute of play.
But despite the crafty ball-handling of Tim McCaffrey, the laxmen couldn't put a shot past UMass goaltender Sal LaCascio, who finished with 13 saves.
"We're a second-half team," Vita said. "We moved the ball around well on the offensive end. And our defense did a good job of shutting them down in the crease. They only took the shots we wanted to give them, from outside. We felt we could win it. We just fell a little short."
The Minutemen (9-1 overall) jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first period and led by five goals at halftime.
And the Crimson--which hasn't lost by more than four goals this year--looked ready to be routed.
But the Harvard offense--most productive in the third quarter, when it has knocked in 30 goals--pumped three shots into the UMass nets to cut the Minuteman lead to 8-6 at the end of the third stanza.
The huge crowd, the largest the Crimson has played before this season, fell silent.
But the home team, behind the play of Tom Carmean--who finished with a game-high four goals--plunked in two goals at the beginning of the fourth period.
Down by four, Harvard had an uphill climb ahead.