Like every other Harvard team this spring, the men's lacrosse team has had its schedule altered by the weather. The snow caused the Crimson's Tuesday game against Vermont to be canceled, and it has also forced the team inside the Brigg's Athletic Center for practice.
After spending spring break practicing in Flordia, Harvard traveled to Sacred Heart to play Duke in a neutral-site game. The Crimson (3-2 overall, 1-0 Ivy) fell to the 4th ranked Blue Devils 14-8.
After two early season victories, Harvard has struggled a little in the past three games against tougher competition; losing to Hartford and Duke, while defeating Penn 14-11. The win over Penn provided a positive opening to the Ivy League campaign.
This year's Ivy League race should be a tight one, with Harvard, Brown and Penn (all ranked in the top 25 nationally) chasing the top ranked, undefeated, defending national champions from Princeton. The Tigers have picked up where they left off last year, defeating three of the top ten teams in the country en route to building its perfect (5-0) record.
However, before the Crimson can challenge the Tigers for the Ivy League crown they must first deal with Cornell and Brown.
"We had a tough loss to Duke last week," said freshman midfielder Chris Rollins. "They're a very good team, but we didn't play that well. We've had a good week of practice, and we're really focused. We'll definitely be ready for Cornell."
The game at Cornell tomorrow will be one of the few times the team has been outside since the snow hit.
"I think we may be at a slight disadvantage because we don't have a turf field and we've been inside all week," Rollins said. "I think Cornell has been outside the past few days, because it has a field it can just plow. But our lack of time outside shouldn't make that big of a difference."
Although Cornell has started the season off slowly, it looked very good in a 8-3 victory over Yale. They also feature a steller goaltender in freshman and two-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week Rich Yost. While the Crimson battle the Big Red this Saturday, the rest of the Ivy league picture will begin to sort itself out as league play gets into full swing. One of the most important league matchups will feature the Crimson's next two opponents: Brown and Princeton.
Harvard will surely be anxious to get back outside and get back on the winning track against Cornell. And as the heart of its league season fast approaches, the Crimson appears to be ready and capable of contending for the Ivy League title.