Yesterday, the Eagles flew onto Ohiri Field, only to be shot down by the Crimson sharpshooters.
The Harvard men's lacrosse team, currently ranked seventh in the country, had no problem gunning down Boston College, 9-2.
The men from the other side of the river never really stood a chance. The game lacked the excitement of Harvard's 7-6 victory over Cornell Saturday, but the 60 spectators saw some top-rate college lacrosse.
Harvard's strength lies in its defense, and yesterday the Crimson defense was as tough as ever. The starting defensive unit--lead by Tri-Captains Michael Bergmann, Rich van den Broek and Bill Pennoyer--shut out the Eagles for three quarters.
"We just played a really smart game," said Bergmann, the Crimson goalie.
The fourth quarter brought a goalie change and some other substitutions on defense. And the shutout could not survive these adjustments.
Last year in the game between these two teams, Harvard back-up goalie Jim Yue was forced to take the field in the middle of the first quarter. His team trailed, 3-1, when he entered the game. But Yue shut down the Eagles, and the Crimson went on to win, 16-3.
Yesterday, Yue was defending a big lead, but allowed two shots to go past him. What would have been the Crimson's first shutout of the year slipped away.
The Crimson's offense is young and trying to improve upon last year's low goals-per-game average. Against the Eagles, the attackmen moved the ball well and converted a number of excellent scoring opportunities.
"We could have scored some more goals," Harvard attackman David Kramer said. "We had the shots, but that will come."
"The defense," Kramer added, "is just fantastic. Once the offense clicks, we're going to be really tough."
Harvard (3-0) got on the scoreboard early. Robert Griffith's skip shot found its way into the upper corner at 1:50 of the first quarter.
Junior attackman Brad Raymond rifled home the next goal, at 5:34 of the first quarter. Eight seconds later, he scored again.
Raymond completed a hat trick with Harvard leading 5-0 and only 17 seconds remaining in the first half. Boston College defender Perry O'Grady wasn't too happy about getting burned on the play, and decided to barrel into Raymond, although the ball was already in the back of the net. O'Grady's late hit earned him a two-minute penalty.
"It felt good to put a few extra in," Raymond said. "Going into the Springfield and Pennsylvania games we need to gear up the offense."
Not too shaken up by the hit, Raymond began the second half with a sweet pass to Griffith, who once again started off the scoring.
Going into the final period Harvard led, 8-0. Boston College's Brian Stenberg removed the goose egg from the B.C. side of the scoreboard with a goal at 4:14. After an awesome drive towards the cage, Stenberg netted another at 11:10.
Thirty seconds later, Harvard's Neil Garfinkel whipped an underhanded shot into the back of the net. The other goalscorers for the Crimson were Kramer with one and Nick Nero with two.
"We expected Harvard to be as good as they were," Boston College Coach Ed Moy said. "I have been coaching here for three years and this is the best Harvard team we've played. I was very impressed with [defender Bill] Pennoyer and their attack."
"We did some good stuff offensively," said Harvard Coach Scott Anderson. "We want to keep getting better. The games you have to win, you have to win doing it right--and we did."
THE NOTEBOOK: Five Ivy League teams are now ranked in the top 10 in the nation. Brown is ranked fifth, Harvard seventh, Yale and Pennsylvania share the eighth spot and Cornell is ranked 10th...Last year, Cornell won the Ivies with a 6-0 record. Brown, Harvard and Pennsylvania all finished with 4-2 records.