“We don’t really game plan for any specific player,” Petrucci said. “We focus on playing our team defense better than they play their team offense.... They have a very talented offense and some skilled players, but we are going to work very hard in our preparation to take care of them.”
Gambitsky enters the weekend with 129 saves, with a crucial 10 stops coming last Saturday against Princeton to clinch the 9-8 victory against the Tigers.
Harvard’s junior longstick midfielder Brian Fischer and Yale’s Overbeck enter the matchup as Ivy League Players of the Week. Fischer anchored the Harvard defense against Princeton, keeping critical Tiger attackers silent in the week 10 matchup.
“We needed the victory against Princeton not just for the Ivy League title but also for our own mindsets,” Petrucci said. “The overtime loss against Penn was tough to shake off, but we were able to forget about it and play our best game against Princeton.”
Historically, the Bulldogs hold the series advantage over the Crimson, leading 60-33.
But this year’s Harvard team is unlike any Crimson squad within the past decade. For the first time in more than ten years, the squad enters the final game of the regular season with a winning record in both overall games and conference matchups.
“This year as opposed to years past, we have really been focusing on the details,” Petrucci said. “In practice and watching film, we are always focusing on the little things that can give us that edge. And in a one or two-goal game, those little things are what can make a difference.”
—Staff writer Caroline L. Ferguson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.