It wasn’t talent that doomed the Harvard men’s lacrosse team Saturday afternoon. It was Pride.
In its first road game of the 2011 season, the Crimson (1-1) was unable to overcome a tough opponent, suffering a 15-9 defeat to No. 5 Hofstra (4-0) in Hempstead, N.Y.
The Pride won despite being outshot 49-31 by the Crimson, whose high-powered offensive attack was not enough to overcome the stellar goaltending of Hofstra’s Andrew Gvozden, who made 15 saves.
“I think the magnitude of the game itself presented us with a challenge that we haven’t seen so far this year,” freshman John Rose said. “We did a good job preparing the week before, but I think preparing against a team is definitely different than playing against the real thing.”
After Hofstra midfielder Brad Lozieaux started out the scoring by beating sophomore goaltender Harry Krieger 2:57 into the first quarter, Crimson sophomore Jack Doyle responded by firing one past Gvozden just 30 seconds later to tie things up at 1-1.
Pride senior attackman Jamie Lincoln scored the first of his five goals to put Hofstra back up, but junior co-captain Kevin Vaughan and classmate Jeff Cohen each tallied a score to put Harvard ahead, 3-2, with 7:41 remaining in the first period.
“[Kevin] pretty much starts our offense, gets it going” sophomore Peter Schwartz said. “He’s the Energizer bunny out there; there’s really nothing he can’t do on the field.”
The Pride, though, would go on to end the frame with three unanswered goals, the final two being scored by Lincoln in a 12-second span.
“[Lincoln’s] a very unorthodox type of lacrosse player,” Rose said. “He worked well with his other attack, [senior] Jay Card, and that presented us with a duo that was hard to defend.”
After Harvard sophomore midfielder Alex White scored just 48 seconds into the second period to bring Harvard back within one, Hofstra responded by tallying four straight to open up a 9-4 advantage. Card had the first two of those goals, midfielder Kevin Ford followed with one of his own, and Lincoln fired home his fourth to put the Pride in control.
“[Lincoln and Card] had their little tricks, their little picks and pops and what not that they used all game,” Rose said. “If one wasn’t working, the other one was.”
After Card was whistled for a two-minute illegal body check penalty, Cohen responded with a man-up goal, his second score of the contest. Classmate Terry White then fired one past Gvozden with 1:06 remaining in the period to bring the Crimson within 9-6 heading into halftime. Despite its deficit, Harvard not only outshot the home team but also earned more ground balls and won more faceoffs than the Pride in the first half.
“I think we rushed a couple of shots [and] forced some things,” Schwartz explained.
Hofstra came out firing in the third quarter, widening its advantage with goals by midfielder Ian Braddish and attackman Torin Varn. Card earned his third assist of the contest on Braddish’s score, while Varn’s goal was the rookie’s first of his career.
After co-captain Dean Gibbons beat Gvozden to bring Harvard within 11-7, the Pride again responded with three unanswered scores to pull away. Attackman Mike DeNapoli had a man-up goal after Crimson freshman Ryan Alden was whistled for pushing, and Braddish and Card added their second and third scores of the afternoon, respectively.