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After an 11-month hiatus, the Harvard men's lacrosse team is back in the national rankings.
The Crimson's thrilling 12-11 defeat of Cornell Saturday at Ohiri Field was enough to convince pollsters that the squad has regained its prowess as a lax powerhouse. Harvard is ranked ninth in the USILA Coaches' Poll, and was tied with Ivy rival Brown in the final spot of the Baltimore Sun's Top Ten. Both polls were released yesterday.
Defending national champion Syracuse, led by legendary middie twins Gary and Paul Gait, remained in the top position in both polls. But last week's number two team, perennial powerhouse Johns Hopkins, dropped into the fifth spot in the USILA poll and the fourth spot in the Sun poll after a 14-10 loss to Rutgers in Baltimore.
"It's neat, but what is more important to me is to win the Ivy League," Harvard Co-Captain Perry Dodge said. "The team that wins the Ivies will make the NCAA playoffs."
Aside from being tied with the Bruins in the Sun ballot, Harvard was the highest ranked Ivy League school in both polls. Previously eighthranked Cornell dropped to 14th in the USILA poll with the loss to the Crimson, behind tied-for-tenth-ranked Brown and Yale, and 13th ranked Pennsylvania.
"It's nice to get some recognition," Harvard Coach Scott Anderson said. "But as a team you still have to know that [the ranking] doesn't mean that much unless you maintain a high level of play."
Last season, Harvard was unable to maintain a high level of play for the entire season. The seventh-ranked Crimson took a 5-1 record into Queens, N.Y. to take on a St. John's team that was riding a seven-game losing streak. The Redmen scored two fast break goals in the game's final minute to stun the Crimson, 10-9.
The defeat was the beginning of a six-game losing streak that knocked the highly touted Harvard out of the national standings and into obscurity. It was not until yesterday that the Crimson regained a spot in the national standing.
Players of the Week: Offense--Dave Kramer. The standout forward scored an amazing nine goals in the Crimson's opening week.
Against C.W. Post in bland Green-vale, N.Y., Kramer led Harvard to a 12-10 victory by netting five tallies, including the first goal in Harvard's dramatic comeback. The senior rifle followed suit last Saturday against the Big Red, again leading the team with four goals.
Defense--Chris Miller. The sopho-more netminder stopped 19 C.W. Post shots and held off an end-of-game Cornell surge, allowing strong Crimson offensive performances to pay off in two victories.
"I'm becoming less and less surprised with Chris' caliber of play," Anderson said. "He's a good goalie and has been playing exceptionally well."
The Eagle Has Landed: The Crimson learned during last season's slide that no game is too easy. And while Harvard traditionally has beaten Boston College, the Crimson must be serious about tomorrow's 3 P.m. matchup with the Eagles at Ohiri Field.
Anderson scouted the Eagles in a recent matchup against Brown, in which the Bruins easily won. But while Anderson called tomorrow's game "less dramatic" than other Harvard matchups this season, the Crimson coach said B.C. has several very strong players who keep the game from being 'a breather.'
"Boston College, to a greater extent than us, is hurt by a lack of depth," Anderson said.
But an up-and coming team like the Eagles has nothing to lose by playing a top-ten squad like the Crimson.
"They would be really psyched to beat a team like Harvard," Dodge said. "It would give credibility."
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