Alumni Update: Vesey Garnering Attention in Rookie Season

Published by Will V Robbins on November 02, 2016 at 8:23PM

Harvard’s elite contingent of professional athletes continue to make a substantial impact as we near the end of 2016.

JEREMY LIN ‘10

The Nets’ brand-new starting point guard and lone Ivy alum in the NBA, is off strong start in his seventh year in the league. Through four games, Lin is averaging 16.3 points, 6.5 assists, and 4.3 rebounds, all of which would be good for career-highs. A down year in Brooklyn figures to give Lin the opportunity to cement himself as a centerpiece of the team.

RYAN FITZPATRICK ’05

The former Crimson standout's struggles have been well-documented through the first eight weeks of the 2016 NFL season. A dismal performance against the Chiefs in Week 3—a game in which he went 20-for-44 in the air and threw six picks—helped lead to his league-leading 11 interceptions and lowest completion rate (56.1%) among QBs with at least 200 attempts. With replacement Geno Smith out for the season after tearing his ACL in Week 7, Fitzpatrick regained the chance to turn around the Jets disappointing 3-5 start after a 2015-16 resurgence.

JIMMY VESEY '16

The New York Rangers’ is tied for second in the NHL with six goals, trailing only Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos. Vesey’s rookie campaign is off to a flying start, and with nine points, the Boston native is already skating with the first line. The breakout left wing tallied three points last night against the Blues, scored and assisted in a 5-2 dismantling of his hometown Bruins Oct. 26, and netted two goals four days earlier against the Caps. It figures to be a race between Vesey and Toronto’s first overall selection Auston Matthews for the Calder Memorial Trophy, awarded to the rookie of the year.

Athlete of the Week Runners Up: Deng and Smith Post Strong Showings

Published by Will V Robbins on October 13, 2016 at 6:46PM

While Men's Soccer's Jake Freeman took the top in this week's Athlete of the Week rankings, senior Robert Deng of Men's Golf and football junior Semar Smith both led their teams to strong performances this past week.

Robert Deng Men’s Golf

The Harvard men’s golf team defended its title in the Macdonald Cup at Yale this weekend, led by senior Robert Deng, who fired a career-low first round 65 (-5). He followed that round with scores of 71 (+1) and 69 (-1) en route to a 5-under-par finish through 54 holes. The Crimson put down 14 challenging teams, besting Ivy rival Yale in third-place by seven strokes, and fourth-place Princeton by eight.

The Course at Yale certainly suits Deng’s eye, as he followed up his second-place performances in 2014 and 2015 with a fourth-place result this year, finishing five strokes behind Boston College’s Matt Naumec.

After missing the team’s first event at Bethpage in New York, Deng has shown strong leadership throughout the fall season, also posting a T-3 finish at the Quechee Club Collegiate Challenge in late September, where participated as an individual.

Deng led Harvard to an overall even-par finish, four strokes ahead of runner-up Sterling University, who shipped in all the way from Scotland. The Crimson has a two-week layoff before heading to South Carolina for the Camden Collegiate Invitational at Camden Country Club.

Semar Smith Football

Junior Semar Smith led No. 16 Harvard (4-0, 2-0 Ivy League) to a 29-13 win over Cornell (3-1, 1-1) with 71 yards and a trio of touchdowns at Harvard Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Smith averaged 3.7 yards per carry on 19 attempts. Smith ran for his first touchdown on the last play of the first quarter, rushing four yards to the right side for the score.

With 9:19 left in the third quarter Smith extended Harvard’s lead to 20-7 with an untouched six-yard cutback run up the middle. He added a third touchdown with 7:28 to go in the fourth, an almost identical run to his score earlier in the half.

Smith’s patient style served him well in this game, allowing the play to develop before deciding to cutback. He is averaging 84.8 yards per game and 4.7 yards per carry on the season, and the Coral Springs, Florida has now tallied six touchdowns on the season. The Cornell game was Smith’s second multi-touchdown game—he scored two at Brown. The trusty Junior has 72 touches on the season and no fumbles.

Smith helped extend Harvard’s eleven-game winning streak over Cornell, the longest streak between the two schools since 1890.

Athlete of the Week Runners Up: Kebe, Football Defensive Backs

Published by Cade Palmer on September 27, 2016 at 8:03PM

While freshman standout Bente van Vlijmen earned Athlete of the Week honors for her three-goal weekend performance on the field hockey pitch, other Crimson athletes had solid games of their own.

PAIGE KEBE, OUTSIDE HITTER, WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL

In its first Ivy League matchup of the season, the Harvard women’s volleyball team defeated rival Dartmouth with an offensive performance from junior outside hitter Paige Kebe.

Despite losing the conference opener to Dartmouth (6-5, 0-1 Ivy) in the two seasons prior to this one, Friday’s match was won handedly by the Crimson (3-7, 1-0) in three sets (27-25, 25-16, 25-23). Kebe led the team in kills with 11, while teammates sophomore Christina Cornelius, freshman Maclaine Fields and freshman Grace Roberts Burbank each added seven of their own. Kebe also tallied a dig, a block and, with her 26 total attempts, a hitting efficiency of .346. Overall, the junior hitter led the team with 11.5 points on the match.

With the win, Kebe’s kills for the season rise to 76, the second best for the team behind only Cornelius, who currently sits at 83. Now with 270 total attempts, her hitting efficiency has risen to .167 and her total points to 82.5, the third highest for the team.

This Friday, the women’s volleyball team looks to maintain their undefeated Ivy League record in a match at Princeton. The Tigers (7-3, 1-0) are also looking to sustain an unblemished conference record as they are coming off a close five-set victory against Penn.

DEFENSIVE BACKS, FOOTBALL

Traveling to Providence to play Brown in their annual Homecoming game, the Harvard football team (2-0, 1-0) held its pass-happy opponent to only three touchdowns through the air in the path to a 32-22 victory.

The Crimson’s defensive backs played a heavy hand in holding Brown (1-1, 0-1) standout senior receiver Alex Jette to 79 yards, in addition to intercepting quarterback Kyle Moreno on three separate occasions. The first of these came early in the second quarter at the hands of senior safety Kolbi Brown. Grabbing the ball at the Brown 45, the Crimson safety returned it to the 20, giving the offense the opportunity to capitalize on the turnover with a field goal.

Up 32-16 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Crimson defense struggled as the Bears marched down the field. As Brown drove to the Harvard 19, their offensive push was stopped with a well timed interception by junior safety Tanner Lee on the Crimson’s own two-yard line. Lee would return the ball 21 yards to the Harvard 23. However, the drive would end in a fumble for Harvard.

Again, Brown charged down field, stopped by yet another interception, this time by sophomore cornerback Wesley Ogsbury on the Harvard 37 yard-line. It would be these two late interceptions that kept the Brown offense at bay throughout the fourth quarter, securing the win for the Crimson.

Men's Club Ultimate Frisbee Advances to National Championship

Published by Ariel Smolik-Valles on May 30, 2016 at 6:50PM

For the first time in program history, the Red Line, Harvard's men's ultimate frisbee team, will compete in the championship game of USA Ultimate's College Championship, held this weekend in Raleigh, N.C.

It has been a weekend of firsts for the Red Line, powering past Georgia and North Carolina on Sunday en route to taking its spot in the top two in the playing field.

In its first semifinals appearance ever, Harvard went up against the hometown favorite North Carolina Darkside in a game that was riddled with weather threats. The Red Line held a 7-5 lead before North Carolina cam back and tied the game at nine. With a 12-11 lead late in a game to 13, Harvard channelled recent USA national team qualifier John Stubbs for its final goal, extending its weekend of first-time appearances to the championship game of the tournament.

Earlier that day, the quarterfinals matchup between the Red Line and University of Georgia's Jojah Ultimate team saw five breaks in the game, spaced from beginning to end, and traded between the teams. Stubbs was once again Harvard's anchor on the field, drawing many Jojah defenders and opening up space for his teammates. The Red Line went on to win 14-13 in a move to the semis.

Harvard will match up against the Minnesota Grey Duck in the championship game today at 2:30 pm.

Check thecrimson.com for updates.

Three Things to Watch For in Sunday's Men's Lacrosse Final

Published by George Hu on May 07, 2016 at 8:38AM

On Friday night, the Harvard men’s lacrosse team (8-7, 3-3 Ivy) rode a record-setting nine-goal performance from sophomore attacker Morgan Cheek to an upset victory over No. 2/2 Brown (14-2, 6-0). With the win, the Crimson has earned a spot in the Ivy League tournament championship game, where it will face off against No. 7/6 Yale. At stake for Harvard is not only its first tourney title, but also a bid to the NCAA tournament. Here are three things to watch:

1) Cheek’s Hot Streak

Cheek has scored 13 goals in his past two games, including a four-goal output against the same Bulldogs defense he will be facing on Sunday. He sits second on the team in both goals and assists, with 35 and 23, respectively. Senior attacker Devin Dwyer leads the Crimson in both categories.

On Friday, Cheek found the back of the net in a variety of situations, including in both man-up and man-down sets. To contain him, Yale has several options to call on. Senior defender Michael Quinn and junior defender Chris Keating were recently named All-Ivy selections, but one will potentially have to be tasked with stopping Dwyer as well unless the Bulldogs play more of a zone set.

2) Crance Capitalizing on His Chance

In bold move for a team that was ranked in the Top-5 nationally at the time, Yale slotted freshman goalie Hoyt Crance into the starting lineup with only a few games remaining in the season. Sophomore Phil Huffard, who started the first ten games, has assumed a backup role as Crance has taken full advantage of his opportunity.

Crance sports a 4-1 record, with his save percentage increasing in each of the past three games. Despite being a freshman, he showed composure in guiding the Bulldogs to a 7-6 victory over Penn in the semifinals of the Ivy tournament.

While Harvard is not known for a high-scoring offense, it has the playmakers to challenge Crance on Sunday. Dwyer and Cheek lead the attack, but the Crimson has a stable of experienced senior attackmen who have all shown abilities to find the net this season.

3) Closing the Game

When Harvard and Yale meet on Sunday, only eight days will have passed since their previous meeting. In that encounter, the Bulldogs rallied from a 8-4 deficit to win, 9-8, as the Crimson lacked a spark on offense in the fourth quarter to hold onto its lead.

Harvard responded well after the letdown with a resolute performance at the end of the game against Brown, but it is to be seen whether the collapse against Yale last weekend will be on the minds of Crimson players if Sunday’s final goes down to the wire.

—Staff Writer George Hu can be reached at yianshenhu@college.harvard.edu.