No. 18 Men's Lacrosse Takes On Hobart
The No. 18 Harvard men's lacrosse team will face its first important test of the season tomorrow, when it faces Hobart, a historically strong squad, at Jordan Field.
On the strength of double-digit wins against B.C. and Colgate, the Crimson (2-0) broke into the Top Twenty of the STX/United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association for the fist time since the beginning of last season.
The poll, published on Monday, is assembled weekly by the USILA on the opinions of 12 Division I coaches who rank each team that they feel ought to be in the Top Twenty.
Hobart (1-1), who has won 15 NCAA titles in the past three decades including nearly every title in the 1980s, also received votes in Monday's poll, but not enough to make the Top Twenty.
The Crimson has started the season strong, although it has faced two weak opponents in B.C. and Colgate, who have a combined record of 1-4 on the season.
In the opener against B.C., the Crimson hit rope eight times in the final period on its way to a 19-2 win.
This past weekend, the Crimson scored on six-of-seven straight shots on the Colgate net in the second period to extend its lead to 10-0 by the end of the half. When the dust settled, the Crimson walked away with an 18-5 win.
The two blowouts have amounted to some impressive numbers on the score sheets.
Freshman attackman Matt Primm has amassed 10 goals and three assists in his first two collegiate games. Although Primm had three goals and two assists in the joke that was the fourth period against B.C., he was impressive against Colgate early, getting the second goal for Harvard less than a minute after sophomore midfielder Mike Baly's opening strike.
The Crimson has also found immense production in a duo familiar from last year, junior attackman Dana Sprong and senior attackman Geoff Watson. Sprong had four goals and one helper in Saturday's game against Colgate, and has seven goals and one assist on the season.
Watson has been producing on both ends of the equation, with six goals and six assists already this year.
Lawson DeVries, Watson's classmate and linemate, has scored four goals and assisted on five others, a welcome change form last year when he began the season quickly after an injury and took a great deal of time assuming leadership around the net.
The offensive challenge for the Crimson will be to get on the board early, something it has not been able to do yet this season. Against both foes so far, Harvard has taken nearly half of the first period before finding rope.
Harvard faces a Hobart squad that has been a mystery thus far in the season. A new team in the Patriot League, the Statesmen were picked to win the conference but dropped their first league-game to Army, 10-8.
In recent action, Hobart blew out a weak Lafayette squad 15-3 at home, in Geneva, N.Y. It appears senior goalie Keith Cynar will be facing his first real foe.
In nearly 100 minutes of action thus far, Cynar has made 28 saves and allowed only four goals. As important, Cynar has anchored the defense on the clear, something Harvard had problems with last season when it dropped its final seven games.
Of 56 clearing attempts this year, the Crimson has converted 49. To beat a top-notch squad like Hobart, Harvard will have to maintain this sort of accuracy in the transition.
The Crimson will take to Jordan at 5 p.m. today, directly following the women's game against Ivy foe Brown.