Some games are won, some games are lost, and some games are never finished.
Last Saturday, the Harvard men's lacrosse team picked the final option and allowed a climactic match against Notre Dame to slip through its fingers.
Not this weekend.
On Saturday, the Crimson will travel to Chase Field to play Dartmouth in what will be the final regular season match for both teams. Harvard (3-9, 1-4 Ivy) will seek to erase the pain of last weekend's difficult loss to the Fighting Irish and hopes to close out a tumultuous season with a win.
"This season has definitely been a learning experience for us," junior goalie Keith Cynar said. "But hopefully, all of our work this year will culminate in a win."
The Crimson has lost its last six matches after beginning a promising season with a 3-3 record. After losing 73 percent of its team last year to graduation, Harvard has attempted all year to reconstruct another team capable of returning to the NCAA playoffs. Inconsistency and disharmony have plagued a young and inexperienced Harvard offense, which has been trying to find the right chemistry throughout the season.
The Crimson's plight manifested itself in the match against Notre Dame last weekend. After Harvard had attained a dominating 8-4 lead over the No. 13 Irish at the start of the third quarter, Notre Dame's offense exploded to produce five unanswered goals, the last coming with three seconds left to play for the 9-8 victory. Those three seconds marked the only time that Notre Dame had led the match.
"Basically, fatigue set in because it was 80 degrees outside [during the match], and it wore us out," Cynar said.
"I'd like to see our offense play more consistently [against Dartmouth] because we only played three quarters against Notre Dame, and that just wasn't enough to win the match for us," sophomore attacker Dana Sprong said.
In spite of the Crimson's heartbreaking loss, it can take solace in a few sparking gems from the match. Junior Lawson DeVries and sophomore Roger Buttles both led the Crimson with two goals against Notre Dame, and Cynar was able to swat away 15 Irish shots.
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