For 55 minutes of their Ivy season opener last Saturday, the Harvard and Cornell men's lacrosse teams traded goals. But in the last five minutes, the Big Red got the better of the deal, defeating the Crimson by a 10-8 score.
Attackman Steve Meyer led the Big Red scoring attack with three goals, despite tenacious defense by Crimson junior Mike Murphy. Ivy Rookie of the Year Mickey Cavuoti paced the Crimson with a hat trick of his own.
Cornell's full-field pressure was the difference in the game, forcing the Crimson into 10 transition turnovers on 24 attempts. The Big Red was successful on 15 of 16 clears.
We were getting good shots, and we played good team defense," said Crimson attackman David Kramer, who added two goals in the losing effort. "We just couldn't control the ball. They had it in our end something like 70 percent of the game."
Despite its near-monopoly of ball possession, the nationally fourth-ranked Big Red could not put the Crimson away until late in the fourth quarter, as the teams see-sawed back and forth for the majority of the game.
At the end of the first quarter, the score was 1-1. At the end of the sloppy second quarter, it was 3-3.
And with just over five minutes left to play, Cavuoti--goaded by Big Red defenders encouraging him to shoot--whipped his third goal past Cornell netminder Paul Schimoler, tying the score for the sixth time at 7-7.
With 4:13 remaining, attackman John Heil's wraparound shot found the far corner of the Crimson net, tipping the see-saw Cornell's way the final time. Tim McDevitt cushioned the lead a minute later, firing a shot over Harvard goaltender Chris Miller's right shoulder.
The Crimson flung a barrage of shots at Schimoler in the waning minutes, but the All-America candidate fended off the onslaught. With 19 seconds left, Big Red midfielder Greg Boyce scored off a fast break to seal the victory.
Crimson midfielder Mark Donovan, who won 18 of his 22 faceoffs, was not quite ready to call it quits. On the ensuing faceoff, he scooped up the ball, sprinted to the cage and beat Schimoler unassisted, providing the final 10-8 margin.
Miller had another strong game for the Crimson (1-1, 0-1 Ivy), tallying 13 saves, while Schimoler had 12 stops for the Big Red.
"We didn't react well to their press--we made mental mistakes on transition," Miller said. "We made some nice plays on defense, then we turned it right over. It was kind of demoralizing."
Cavuoti said that a lack of outdoor practices caused the Crimson's transition weaknesses.
"If we had played them in two or three weeks, we definitely would have rocked them," Cavouti said. "We're nowhere close to beings as good as we can be."
No. 13 M. Lax Falls to No. 9 CornellThe erstwhile No. 13 Harvard men's lacrosse team (5-2, 1-1 Ivy) lost 12-7 to No. 9 Cornell (6-1, 2-0 Ivy)
Laxmen to Face Big Red in Ivy OpenerLike the mythical playground hoopster in the Reebok commercial, Steve Meyer is accustomed to shouts of "layup" when he shoots
Gridders Face Big Red TodayThe game may be football, but it is an obstacle course the Crimson will have to conquer when it meets
Football Risks Ivy Win StreakAfter 11 straight victories, Tim Murphy’s vaunted Harvard football team finally came down from cloud nine last Saturday as it
Second Half Surge Pushes Men's Basketball Past Cornell