Men's Lacrosse Falls to Brown in Ivy Opener
Four unanswered fourth -uarter goals propelled Brown to an 11-9 home win over the Harvard men's lacrosse team Saturday night in the teams' Ivy League opener.
The Crimson (2-3, 0-1 Ivy) led the Bears (4-1, 1-0 Ivy)throughout most of the contest, but an unassisted marker from senior attacker George Sherman pulled Brown ahead with 6:15 left in regulation. Sherman crashed the net before launching a successful close-range shot between the pipes.
Harvard held a 19-5 advantage in face-offs, but key stops from Brown freshman Jack Kelly allowed the Bears to control the possession late. Kelly made five of his game-high 15 stops in the fourth quarter. Freshman attacker Henry Blynn, who led all scorers with two goals and three assists, tacked on an insurance marker with 1:44 left to seal the game for Brown.
"It was a frustrating game," Crimson captain Jason Gonos said. "We played well at times. Sometimes I feel like a broken record because we're close. We definitely have to take one more step and kind of get over the hump, and we haven't done that yet. "
The Bears' final two goals of the game came with the shot clock on.
"[Brown] executed with urgency at the end," Harvard coach Chris Wojcik said. "We were playing great and forced the shot clock, but we didn't complete the play. That was the story of the game."
The Crimson jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first quarter with goals from junior attackmen Carl Zimmerman and Daniel Eipp and freshman attacker Sean McDonough. Zimmerman (1 goal, 1 assist) drew the Crimson even with Brown after a goal from Tim Jacob provided the Bears' only lead of the game before the fourth quarter. McDonagh's goal came unassisted with 11 seconds left in the frame.
In the second, Brown outscored the Crimson, 4-2, in the first half of the frame to draw even with Harvard. But goals from freshman attacker Devin Dwyer (2 goals, 2 assists) and senior midfielder Alex White (2 goals) in the final four minutes of the period put the Crimson back in front, 7-5. White and freshman Brendan Newman contributed Harvard's first two goals of the period.
"I thought we opened the game really well. Offensively, we really moved the ball and generated some really high-quality scoring chances, and we finished our shots," Wojcik said. "We scored seven goals in the first half but only two in the second; we aren't going to be a good team doing that."
Harvard maintained the two-goal advantage through the third. Brown tied the game again with strikes from Blynn and sophomore attacker Nick Piroli (2 goals), but Harvard responded with two goals in the final 1:05 of the quarter. Dwyer found the net on the man-up and Ryan Stevens (1 goal, 1 assist) scored 19 ticks before the end of the quarter to put the Crimson up, 9-7.
Brown controlled the fourth quarter as Phil Pierce pulled the Bears within one early in the final frame. Minutes later, a cross-check from Harvard captain Jason Gonos put Brown on the man-up. Freshman attacker Kylor Bellistri converted off a centering feed from Blynn to draw even with the Crimson.
The Bears won the next faceoff to set up Sherman's go-ahead goal. Minutes later, Blynn struck on the right wing to give Brown some breathing room with less than two minutes remaining.
"[Brown] took advantage of any bad shots and really created transition," Gonos said. "We couldn't really stop them in transition defensively.... They just took advantage of any of our mistakes."
Two saves from Kelly in the game's final minute allowed Brown to kill off a 30-second pushing penalty. With the come-from-behind win, the Bears avenged a 10-9 overtime loss to Harvard in the teams' 2012 Ivy opener. In that game, Jeff Cohen '12 scored three goals in the fourth quarter and provided the overtime winner to lift the Crimson to its own come-from-behind home win.
With Harvard's leading scorer graduated, Gonos was happy to see three Crimson freshmen break through with goals at Brown on Saturday. Dwyer's four points led all Harvard scorers.
"Devin Dwyer has been scoring and distributing the ball really well this year," Gonos said. "He's doing much more than we could have asked as a freshman on the offensive end."
The Crimson will face Bryant at home on Tuesday and will return to conference play next Saturday at Dartmouth.
—Staff writer Michael D. Ledecky can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mdledecky.