Crimson Men's Lacrosse Dominates Despite Early Deficit

WILL TO WIN
Robert F Worley

Freshman attackman Will Walker led the Harvard men’s lacrosse team with four goals against Quinnipiac. Despite going down a goal to start the game, the Crimson recorded its best offensive mark of the year.

The Harvard men’s lacrosse team surrendered the first goal of its Tuesday evening game at Harvard Stadium, but it wouldn’t make many mistakes from there.

Buoyed by four goals from freshman attackman Will Walker and the faceoff dominance of freshman midfielder Keegan Michel, the Crimson scored 16 unanswered goals, spanning all four quarters, and left visiting Quinnipiac (3-7, 2-0 NEC) all but helpless as it walked off with a dominant 18–4 win.

Tied at two with 4:30 to play in the first quarter, Harvard (6-5, 2-1 Ivy) unleashed one of its most impressive scoring runs of the season.

The streak began with sophomore attackman Daniel Eipp, who caught a pass from senior attackman Jeff Cohen and buried a shot in the back of the net. Will Walker added back-to-back goals within 20 seconds of one another to send the Crimson into the second quarter leading, 5-2.

The Harvard advantage only grew from there. Freshman midfielder Sean Mahon caught a pass at the top of the box, pump faked, and fired to put Harvard up four. Later, after a Quinnipiac score was waived off for a crease violation, tri-captain Kevin Vaughan scored on a mid-range shot, and Cohen scored back-to-back goals soon after to send the Crimson into the half up 9-2.

The onslaught continued in the third quarter. Walker completed a hat trick three minutes in after catching a pass from Vaughan. After a score from sophomore attackman Carl Zimmerman, Walker netted a fourth goal with five minutes remaining in the quarter to stretch the lead to 10. Eipp earned some style points by scoring on a behind-the-head shot soon after, and sophomore attackman Garrett Campbell scored his first goal of the season to send Harvard into the final frame comfortably ahead, 14-2.

The Crimson would add four goals in the fourth quarter, including freshman attackman Phillip Wagley’s first two collegiate goals. Quinnipiac scored twice in the waning minutes, but the outcome had long been decided.

“I thought we were sharp right from the beginning on offense,” Harvard coach Chris Wojcik ’96 said. “I’m really happy with the overall effort and energy.”

The Bobcats, who were held scoreless for two straight quarters and more than 40 minutes of play, took an early 1-0 lead on a third-minute goal from junior Brendan Wilbur. The Crimson responded with two straight goals of its own. Senior midfielder Terry White found the back of the net on a shot from outside, and senior midfielder Andrew Pataki scored his first goal of the season seconds after that.

Later in the quarter, a fortuitous bounce allowed the Bobcats’ Matt Kycia to pick up the ball in front of the net and tie the game at two, but it was all Harvard from there.

The Crimson dominated possession throughout the game thanks in large part to the efforts of Michel, who won every one of the game’s thirteen first-half faceoffs.

“Keegan has been huge for us all season,” Will Walker said.

“He was outstanding tonight in terms of getting possessions for us, really the MVP of the game” Wojcik added. “He’s been an integral part of this team.”

The Bobcats won only four of its 26 faceoffs on the night, but even when they did manage to get the ball, their offense struggled, getting off only 10 shots in the game to the Crimson’s 50. Plagued by dropped passes and turnovers, Quinnipiac could find no answer to Harvard’s defense.

“Our defense was organized and energized tonight,” Wojcik said. “We played well on the ball and off of it.”

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