Biggest Yardfest-esque Letdowns of the 2011-2012 School Year

Published by Daniel A. Grafstein on April 18, 2012 at 3:12AM

In honor of our campus’ so-called “music festival,” we at the Crimson decided to rank the biggest letdowns in Harvard’s calendar year thus far.

5) ECAC Hockey Championships

Both the men’s and women’s hockey programs were a win or two away from making the NCAA championships. After beating the perennial power, Cornell, the men’s squad lost to Union, 3-1, in the ECAC championship game. Had the Crimson emerged victorious, it would have guaranteed itself a spot in the field of 16.

Going 17-4-1 in the one of the toughest divisions in college hockey, the women’s side should seem like it did enough to guarantee itself an at-large bid. But after an overtime loss in the ECAC semifinals, Harvard was stopped in its tracks, and junior forward Jillian Dempsey’s unprecedented scoring run came to a premature ending.

4) Harvard spikeball

In a year of firsts for Harvard sports, one first is a little different than the rest. Crimson fans everywhere were on the edge of their seats when Harvard spikeball played its first-ever intercollegiate match this past fall. Unfortunately, the event ended in disappointment, as the Crimson fell to Dartmouth.

3) Men’s soccer

The men’s soccer team was, in a word, disappointing this year. The team finished 0-6-1 in the conference and 2-12-3 overall. Despite providing some feel-good stories including the crowd-friendly season-opening, 1-0, victory over Northeastern, disappointing moments, such as senior goalkeeper Austin Harms’ failed flirtation with the school shutout record, marked the men’s soccer’s 2011 campaign.

2) Penn vs. men’s basketball game: Penn 55, Harvard 54

The Crimson held a late 49-40 lead with 7:56 left in the game. The 11-point-favorite just needed to take care of business in order to keep destiny in its own hands in the Ivy League. But on the back of Zach Rosen’s 11 points in the final six minutes and stellar team defense, the Quakers pulled off the stunning comeback. The letdown was only amplified by the fact that Harvard fans had thought they had won for a couple seconds before it was revealed that a charge disallowed a would-be go-ahead Kyle Casey bucket. The saving grace: the Crimson went on to take sole possession of the Ivy League title anyway as Princeton defeated Penn in the rivalry game on its senior night.

1) Yardfest

In the end nothing could measure up. In what is billed as one of the college’s premier social events, Harvard could muster nothing more than mediocre food on a Sunday afternoon. Whereas our peer institutions like Penn and Yale were able to draw the likes of Tiesto and T-Pain, Harvard couldn’t even draw a headliner with a Wikipedia photo. Yardfest’s professional opening performers, including one group who called the student body responsible for his being there things that should not be repeated in print, drew a non-existent crowd. On the plus side, we did have a tire swing.