M. Lax Ends Skid With 16-5 Rout of Holy Cross
Part of the reason for the Crimson’s troubles had been bad luck in scheduling—each of Harvard’s losses came against a ranked opponent. But the team wasn’t blameless, either, as it barely averaged six goals per outing during the streak.
Recently, however, the Crimson (5-7, 0-5 Ivy) had shown signs of turning things around. Harvard had clawed back from a 6-0 deficit to give No. 13 UMass a scare last Wednesday, and put together its best outing of the season against No. 11 Yale, last weekend, completely outplaying the Bulldogs but ultimately falling, 6-5.
Last night, the Crusaders (1-13, 0-6 Patriot) probably wished the Crimson had just beaten Yale and ended its losing streak there. An angry Harvard team jumped all over Holy Cross from the outset, taking an 8-1 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Sophomore midfielder Alex Vap dominated on face-offs, earning the Crimson valuable possessions, and Harvard orchestrated its offense from behind the Crusader net.
Junior attackman Matt Primm—who became the 29th member of the Crimson’s 100-point club against Yale—had two goals and two assists in the quarter, while co-captain midfielder Michael Baly added two tallies.
In the second quarter, it was more of the same from Harvard, as sophomore midfielder Jeff Gottschall, senior midfielder Derek Nowak and sophomore midfielder Brian Weeks netted goals to round out the Crimson’s string of ten unanswered scores.
“A lot of our shots were falling,” junior midfielder Doug Logigian said. “Things were just going our way.”
After Holy Cross temporarily halted Harvard’s momentum, Jay Wich put the Crimson up 12-2 heading into halftime.
The Crusaders opened the scoring after the break, but Harvard reeled off four more goals to end any hopes of a comeback.
Sophomore defender Hani Rimlawi scored the first goal of the stretch, while co-captain midfielder Jimmy Christian and Logigian each notched their second goals of the contest and senior midfielder Colin Leary recorded his first.
Holy Cross tacked on two quick, garbage-time goals, but it was far too little, too late.
Nowak finished with a pair of tallies for the Crimson, while freshman attackman Mike McBride chipped in a single score. Christian had two assists to match his two goals and freshman midfielder Zach Chandis, Gottschall and Vap each had single helpers.
The balanced offensive explosion—no Crimson player netted more than two goals—is indicative of what the Harvard attack is capable of when it is clicking on all cylinders.
“When we win, it’s pretty impressive to look at our offense,” Logigian said. “It really shows how balanced our offense really is.”
With three games remaining, the Crimson must win out to finish above .500.
“It’s a tough thing to do because we play a very strong schedule, so coming out with a winning record is something we’d really like to do,” Logigian said.
To avoid a sub-.500 mark, Harvard will have to avenge last year’s blowout loss to Notre Dame on Saturday at Jordan Field.
Junior defender Joe Nejman and Rimlawi, both transfers from South Bend, provide the Crimson added motivation heading into that game.
“It’s a good chance to show everyone that we’re the better team and that those guys made the right choice coming here,” Logigian said.
But, even if it isn’t able to sandwich twin four-game winning streaks around the losing skid, Harvard has already proven its resilience.
“We haven’t given up the whole season,” Baly said. “As long as we don’t give up, regardless of whether we win the next three games, I’m going to consider the season a success.”