Laxmen Living in the Land of Parity

Men's Lacrosse

I honestly think we can beat any team on our schedule," men's lacrosse midfielder Perry Dodge said.

The Baltimore Sun agreed, ranking the Crimson 11th in the nation in its preseason poll.

"Then again, I think any team on our schedule can beat us," Dodge added.

And sure enough, Newsday agreed, predicting that Harvard will finish in fifth place in the Ivy League.

Parity--the great leveller.

It pervaded major league baseball in the late 1970s. The NFL and NHL succumbed to it this decade. And college lacrosse is its next victim.

"There is tremendous parity in the Ivy League this year," said Harvard Coach Scott Johnson, who led the Crimson to an 11-3 record and an NCAA tournament berth in his coaching debut last year. "There are more good teams than ever before."

The Crimson is one of them. With returning starters at every attack and midfield position, and the return of All-America Chris Garvey after a year away from the squad, the Crimson should be able to mount a strong challenge to traditional powers Penn and Cornell for the Ivy title.

The Crimson will rely heavily on Ivy Rookie of the Year Mickey Cavuoti for scoring punch, but Anderson is also expecting attackmen David Kramer, Brad Raymond and Co-Captain Steve Lux to put the ball in the net.

"Mickey is obviously the most talented [player], but all of them have the potential to score," Anderson said. "They have to play unselfishly, moving the ball around and sharing the scoring load."

Cavuoti, an honorable mention All-America in his freshman year, will probably draw the league's top defenders and "hatchetmen" this season. However, Garvey's return to an already strong midfield featuring Dodge and Co-Captain Robert Griffith should provide the short-stickers with a new dimension on attack.

"Chris is a really solid player," Cavuoti said. "Our cutting and feeding was really lacking last year--we became a one-on-one team. Chris should put some motion back into the offense."

The defense and goaltending, decimated by graduation, will be Anderson's chief concerns. Replacing first team All-Ivy starters Bill Pennoyer on defense and Mike Bergmann in goal will not be an easy task.

The brunt of the pressure will fall on the shoulders of freshman netminder Chris Miller. The Westfield, N.J., native is likely to face a barrage of shots this season after the loss of four senior long-stickers.

"[Miller] has been working very hard and he's got the talent, but he just hasn't had enough time to adjust to college shooting," Anderson said.

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