For the Harvard men's lacrosse team, which lost three of the four one-goal games it played in this season, it was a year of near misses.
Fate again showed the Crimson the back of her hand Saturday afternoon at Ohiri Field, as the team lost its season finale, 12-11, in an overtime photo finish.
"It just didn't break our way at the end," senior goalie Matt Camp said.
Harvard took the lead early and was up by as many as four goals, when it held a 5-1 advantage at one point during the first half.
The offensive star of the day was junior attacker Jamie Ames, who had a double-hat trick, scoring six goals on the hapless Dartmouth keeper.
"I felt like I played badly the last two games," Ames said. "I wanted to come out and play well."
Junior midfielder Steve Gaffney and sophomore midfielder Chris Wojcik spend the day attacking Dartmouth's short-stick defenders. This forced the Big Green to slide its defense, leaving Ames open near the crease to harass Dartmouth's netminder.
The Big Green stormed back, however, and cut the Crimson's lead to two in the second quarter, which ended with Harvard leading, 7-5.
"When we were fresh and ready, we were a better team," Ames said. "They [Dartmouth] wore us down and slowly worked their way back into the game.
In the second half, both teams struggled to keep pace, and the lead changed hands twice. Regulation ended with the teams deadlocked at 11.
Strong goaltending helped keep the Crimson in the game. Camp, who played the entire game, stopped 21 Big Green shots.
"A lot of shots were in close, I'd say five to ten yards from the goal," Camp said. "I was able to get down on most of them."
Dartmouth dominated the sudden-death overtime, however. It won the faceoff and controlled the ball for three minutes before scoring the winning goal on a terrific 10-foot shot which eluded Camp.
Despite the defeat, Harvard was pleased with its performance and saw positive signs for next year.
"We have a huge senior class for next year." Ames said. "And next year, we're supposed to have the best recruiting class in the Ivies."
For Camp, playing in his final collegiate game, the day was an opportunity to reflect on his time at Harvard.
"It was a great experience, with great people on the team," he said. "[Lacrosse] is a great sport to play."