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M. Lax Blasts Yale

By Chris W.mcevoy

If you ventured out to freezing wind-driven Ohiri Field on Saturday to watch the men's lacrosse team beat Yale, 13-5, you had to be in one of the following categories: a) a diehard lacrosse fan, b)a sports writer, or c) so drunk that you didn't give a damn whether you were watching a lacrosse game or a cricket match.

While spectators may have been thinking, "let's get this thing over with so we can resuscitate our frost-bitten hands," the lacrosse team obviously did not feel the same way.

From the opening whistle, the Crimson, (5-4, 3-1 Ivy) came out with a determined "this is our game attitude" to denigrate Ivy League cellardweller Yale (3-8, 1-4).

"I was very happy with the way we played," Harvard coach Scott Anderson said bluntly.

Coming off of a two-game losing streak that included a horrific 6-12 loss to UMass last Wednesday (which likely snuffed out the team's hope for an NCAA bid), many skeptics probably didn't expect much of a game against the Elis.

The offense wasn't scoring enough goals, and the defense seemed to be having an all-invited open-house party in front of goalie and captain Rob Lyng.

To add insult to injury this week, or in this case, injury to insult, the already struggling Crimson offense lost its star attackman, junior Mike Ferrucci, with a torn ACL against UMass on Wednesday. The injury will likely side-line him for the rest of the season.

"We've had a lot of injuries so some guys haven't played as fluidly," said junior midfielder Jared Chupaila.

With that said, the Crimson somehow managed to put together a very decent game Saturday. So just how did they do it, with almost all the cards stacked against them?

"It was confidence--we worked hard off the ball," senior attackman Max Von Zuben said. "It was confidence from the start.

Interestingly enough, the loss of Ferrucci seemed to send a message loud and clear to the Crimson offense, and that was, "Its time to pick it up guys."

Zuben understood perfectly well what he had to do on Saturday, and he responded with a career-high three goals and two assists.

"To tell you the truth, its really easy to get up for Yale your senior year," Zuben said.

But if Zuben was a terror on the field, junior attackman Jim Bevilacqua was a downright nightmare for the befuddled. Yale defense as he added four goals to his bounty.

"Jimmy and Max picked it up big time," Chupaila said.

Along with his brother, Lou "Wheels" Bevilacqua, the duo gave the frozen fans something to cheer for with their razzle-dazzle offensive skills and burn-rubber speed.

Harvard led 7-2 at the half, and there was never any threat that the team was going to suffer a monumental collapse. The shot statistics alone should give you some idea of who was in control of this game: Harvard 41, Yale 16.

With the offense clicking, the other story of the game was the defense, led by Lyng. The short and long-sticks played a ruthless in-your-face pressure defense, packing in the middle like a can of sardines.

The defense made it quite clear that no one was going to come into its territory without suffering the consequences. Punishments included bonecrushing body checks and lethal stick pokes. Anytime an opposing team scores only five goals in a college lacrosse game, you know the defense is doing its job.

Lyng recorded 12 saves, which is not exactly an eye-popping number, but this does not reflect some of the critical saves he made, nor the fact that he looked very solid overall in net. It was only one year ago that Lyng began suffering serious digestive pains that threatened to end the valuable goalie's season.

"Rob Lyng is playing real well," Chupaila said.

Lyng the "Brick Wall," as he is known by the fans, is back.

Let's hope the whole team is back on track too.

Only then is there a sliver of hope of it making the 1997 NCAA's. Yale  5 Harvard  13

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