For two and a half minutes on Sunday afternoon, the Harvard men's lacrosse team was on its way to an upset that could have propelled it into post- season play.
After dropping five of its last six games, the Crimson (6-6, 2-3 Ivy) went up by four goals on No. 12 Notre Dame with a strike from freshman attackman Matt Primm at 6:56 in the third period. For a moment, it seemed as though Harvard had regained its early-season confidence and was ready to get back in to the national Top Twenty.
But with 4:22 left in the third frame, the Fighting Irish (9-3, 4-0 Great Western), riding a six-game winning streak amidst a tight race for post-season seedings, suddenly woke up. Down 8-4, Notre Dame scored seven unanswered goals--including five in the final four minutes of the third to retake the lead, 11-8.
For the streaking team from South Bend, the sudden spurt would be enough to put the Crimson away for good. Despite Primm's five goals on the day, Harvard fell deeper into a slide that is eerily reminiscent of last season's second-half flop, during which the Crimson dropped its final seven games.
Harvard led the contest 5-4 at the break, after the two teams traded tallies through the first 30 minutes.
Senior midfielder Adam McGowan opened the game's scoring with an unassisted goal 2:46 into the game. For a Crimson team that has had trouble finding its first strike in the early part of games during the recent slide, McGowan's goal gave the Crimson the lead and a noticeable psychological lift at both ends.
Notre Dame's Jon Harvey and Steve Bishko were the first to solve Harvard senior netminder Keith Cynar, and put the Irish up 2-1 with less than three minutes left in the period.
Quick to respond, Crimson senior attackman Lawson DeVries found rope after a feed from senior attackman Geoff Watson with a little over a minute to play in the first frame.
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