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With the score knotted at 4-4 at the end of the first quarter, a fast-paced second quarter saw the Harvard men’s lacrosse team (3-1) outscore Bellarmine (2-4), 8-1. It was all the Crimson needed to break open the game and guarantee a victory Friday night at the Soldier’s Field Lacrosse Stadium.
The Knights came out of the gates strong, scoring two unanswered goals in the first three minutes of action and prompting an early Harvard timeout.
“Coach just told us to buckle down on defense,” co-captain attack Dean Gibbons said, “and keep up the fast paced offensive team that we have, and we were able to score a lot of goals.”
The timeout was effective, as the Crimson rattled off three straight goals over the next nine minutes, including goals from Gibbons, sophomore midfield Alex White, and junior attack Jeff Cohen.
Bellarmine would not fold and responded with two goals to recapture the lead, 4-3, with 59 seconds left in the first quarter. Harvard would answer just 19 seconds later off an unassisted goal from White, tying the score at 4-4 to end the first quarter.
Though the Knights struck first in the second frame, Harvard took control of the quarter, scoring eight straight goals that put the Crimson up, 12-5, going into halftime. The run saw five different Harvard players score, including three from freshman midfield Daniel Eipp and two from Cohen.
“We really picked up our transition game and did a good job of clearing the ball from defense to offense,” Gibbons said. “We were just able to capitalize on the opportunities that we had on the offense end.”
Eipp, who had four goals and notched an assist, led a Harvard offense that saw 10 different players score. Gibbons and Cohen each scored three goals while Gibbons also tallied five assists.
“Danny Eipp had a really good game,” Gibbons said. “He scored a couple goals in the Georgetown game, and coach Wojcik has been playing him on attack a little bit more now. [Eipp] has been doing really well, and we’re looking for him to do big things this season.”
A trio of juniors in attack, attack Devin Peurach, midfielder Will Cary, and attack Luke Acton scored two goals apiece to lead the way for the Knights. Cary also tallied an assist.
The Crimson and Bellarmine would exchange goals to start the third quarter, setting the score at 14-7. Harvard would go on another run, keyed by a goal by junior co-captain Kevin Vaughn during a man-down situation. The Knights would respond with five seconds left in the third quarter.
“They have a lot of good guys out on their defensive end,” Gibbons said. “And we were able to figure it out by moving the ball fast, and taking better angled shots.
Bellarmine carried the momentum into the fourth quarter, scoring two straight to bring the score to 17-10. Yet the Crimson would go on another run, scoring four straight, keyed by a goal from junior midfielder Mark Scalise in a man-up situation, assisted by junior midfielder Terry White, that would ensure the victory.
Harvard’s offensive system was able to consistently generate shots throughout the night—averaging 15 shots a quarter—to out-shoot the Knights, 60-37, on the night.
“Our game plan for every game is just to improve and get better from the previous game that we played,” Gibbons said. “We did that from Hoftra to Georgetown, we did that from Georgetown to Bellarmine, and hopefully we can do that [today] against Holy Cross.
"If we can do that all year long, then at the end of the season, we’ll be a pretty good team and be very happy with the results.”
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