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In Saturday afternoon’s 13-12 loss to Cornell, the Harvard men’s lacrosse team was unable to swing the momentum in its direction for long enough to hold onto the win.
The Big Red scored the first four goals in the encounter. The visitors maintained possession of the ball for most of the first half, shutting the Crimson out in the first quarter completely.
Most of the scoring came in bunches. After Cornell went up 4-0, junior co-captain Kevin Vaughan put his team on the scoreboard.
The Crimson won the next faceoff, and sophomore midfielder Ryan Stevens quickly followed suit, netting his first goal of the game less than two minutes after.
Cornell regained composure with a goal from Rob Pannell, a 2010 First Team All-American and the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year.
But a second goal from Vaughan began Harvard’s second string of scores, which included a second goal from Stevens. After scoring, each team was able to build momentum by winning the following faceoff.
The Crimson dominated the third quarter, scoring six of the eight goals of the frame. In one run, the hosts notched four in a row, thanks to one tally from Vaughan, two from Stevens, and one from sophomore Jack Doyle.
After the run, Harvard was up for the first time in the game, 9-7 with just over four minutes left.
But the Big Red regrouped and answered with three goals. Two back-to-back tallies from Steve Mock in the fourth quarter brought his team back in the lead.
“We couldn’t score goals and then make stops,” said Vaughan about the changing momentum.
Then Harvard scored two, then Cornell scored two. After that, Matt Hull scored to bring the Crimson back into the lead, 10-9.
“The fourth quarter went back and forth,” said Harvard coach Chris Wojcik ’96. “They responded, and then we responded.”
Harvard couldn’t hold on. The Big Red’s David Lau scored the tying and the game-winning goal to put the contest away.
“It takes stringing together two big plays,” Vaughan said. “A big hit and a big goal and all of the sudden, you’ve got your momentum back, and kids are fired up on the sideline.”
SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS
In a high-scoring game with a heartbreaking ending for Harvard, the Big Red just edged out the Crimson by a goal. But the close score does not reflect the shots taken nor shots on goal for the game. Cornell outshot Harvard, 48-35, for the day.
The unbalanced total was a product of a lopsided first quarter, during which the Big Red outshot the Crimson, 19-7, capitalizing on good passing around the net.
Cornell maintained possession of the ball for the majority of the first quarter, allowing it to get more shots on goal.
Harvard sophomore goalie Harry Krieger had a strong showing in net with 14 total saves, compared to the Big Red’s 11.
For the first time this season, the Crimson was outshot by its opponent.
Even in games where Harvard didn’t come out on top, the squad fired more attempts, often by a difference of nearly 20 shots.
But Cornell’s strong ball protection allowed it to put more shots on the Crimson goal by a wide margin.
Four players, two from each team, scored at least three goals in Saturday afternoon’s game.
Different players for Harvard stepped up as goal scorers. Usually, the team relies on attackers Dean Gibbons and Jeff Cohen, who lead the Crimson with 20 and 22 scores, respectively.
But against the Big Red, Stevens and Vaughan stepped up.
“In the third quarter, our middies’ ability to generate high quality shots…was the difference for us to come back,” Wojick said.
The line of Stevens, Vaughan, and junior Terry White scored a total of seven goals for the day.
Stevens led the team with four tallies in the match.
Vaughan, who scored the hat trick, started three of the Crimson’s scoring streaks for the day.
Cornell’s team was led by Steve Mock’s hat trick and David Lau’s five taliies, including the last two to put his team on top.
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