McBride tallied three consecutive goals in front of Brian Carcaterra and John Gagliardi of the Rochester Rattlers and the Long Island Lizards of the MLL, respectively, his friends and mentors who had traveled from Connecticut to watch him play on Jordan Field on Saturday.
McBride’s strikes all came in a 6:53 span in the third quarter and broke a 2-2 tie.
“Mike’s a great leader on and off the field,” sophomore midfielder Zach Chandis said. “He gets everyone mentally prepared for the game.”
The Hawks (1-1) pressured the Crimson (1-1) from the outset, outshooting Harvard 7-3 in the first period.
Although Travis Eckler, the reigning America East Player of the Week, was able to slip a goal in for Hartford, Crimson junior goaltender Jake McKenna prevented any more damage with four saves in the frame. For the game, McKenna saved six of the nine shots on goal.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to the defense,” McBride said. “Especially to Jake in goal.”
Although Harvard outshot Hartford 13-2 in the second period, it found itself behind by two goals when Chris Sauro scored at the 5:48 mark to put the Hawks up 2-0.
Fourteen second later, the Crimson finally got on the board, as tri-captain attack Matt Primm picked up a loose ball in front of the net and fed junior attack Anders Johnson, who faked out Hartford goaltender Rorke Greene and slipped the ball into the goal.
But despite continuing to pressure the Hawks, Harvard went into halftime trailing 2-1.
In the third period, the Crimson wasted little time erasing that deficit as tri-captain midfielder Doug Logigian ripped a shot past Green at 13:53.
Then, McBride took over.
Chandis led a fast break and fed McBride, who finished it to put Harvard up 3-2.
Johnson then recovered a ground ball and found McBride in front of the net, stretching the Crimson’s advantage to two goals.
McBride capped off his hat trick off the rebound of a Primm shot.
“McBride’s shooting today was strong,” Chandis said. “He has a knack for molding opposing defenses the way he wants, like Playdough.”