Harvard Faces BC in Beanpot

Published by B. Marjorie Gullick on February 01, 2010 at 10:10PM

With the end of the season looming, the Harvard men’s hockey team has a shot at redemption against local rival Boston College, who defeated the Crimson in a close 3-2 match in early December. The Beanpot game, scheduled today at TD Garden, will measure how far the Harvard team has come from the 10-game losing streak it was on when it last faced the Eagles. Since playing Boston College, the Crimson has improved its record from 1-8-2 to 5-11-3.

Although Harvard had a 27-26 shot advantage over the Eagles, Boston College scored two goals in less than three minutes in the first period, building a lead the Crimson could not overcome. After a netminder change in the second period, the Eagles were unable to score again, but with three goals already on the board, the damage had been done.

For Harvard to win in the rematch, it will need to generate the momentum it had in the waning minutes of the first game, and carry it through all three periods. Coming off a loss to conference rival Princeton, the setting is familiar. Boston College will have the chance to continue a Crimson losing streak once again.

Ehrlich Gives Boost to Spanish Football

Published by Brian A. Campos on January 29, 2010 at 10:10PM

Former football captain Carl Ehrlich ‘09 left the United States recently to continue playing football in Spain for the Valencia Firebats. While this may be old news, it is important to analyze the ramifications of such a move.

Ehrlich is currently playing for La Liga Nacional de Futbol Americano, a fairly recent league that started up in 1995 after gathering several organizations that had previous football experience. One of those teams was the Valencia Bats, a team composed mainly from the roster of the failed Cullera Giants team. The Bats joined the American Football League (not to be confused with the AFL that was merged into the NFL in 1969) and had a moderately successful season.

Competing with the AFL was the Catalana Football League, and so Spain’s football organizations realized that in order for football to even have a chance in Spain, the leagues needed to be united. The LGNA was created and has been a fairly strong organization since its inaugural season, adding five more teams for the 2010 season. Along with the league’s inception, the Bats changed their name to the current moniker. (More on the Firebats history can be found here, though you may need a translator).

Ehrlich joins a team that in recent years has made major strides to excel on the European football stage. The Firebats won the last three out of four LNFA titles, only failing to win it in 2008.

Because the LNFA is Spain’s top flight for football, the winner and runner-up get the chance to represent the league in the European Football League, the equivalent of the Champions League for soccer. The Firebats’ successes haven’t translated onto the big stage, though, and they have failed to win against many major European opponents. Austria’s Vienna Vikings and Swarco Raiders Tirol have captured the crown for the majority of the past decade, not letting any other country get the title since 2004.

The Firebats are looking to change things around by adding Ehrlich not only to their defensive line but to their offensive line as well. According to Valencia’s website, Ehrlich had a solid effort on both sides of the ball in his first Spanish game, getting a lot of action in its 14-6 victory at home. But it’ll be crucial for Ehrlich to adapt to the different tactics of the Firebats and the scrappy play and strict officiating of European football—he was ejected from his first game for clotheslining an opponent.

Track Captain Hammers at New Bests

Published by Max N. Brondfield on January 28, 2010 at 10:10PM

The early indoor track season can seem monotonous. Countless meets and invitationals take place each weekend, while competitors look far ahead to conference championships. But Harvard track captain Jack Brady has found a way to keep the season interesting—just reach a few milestones.

The senior shot putter and weight thrower has improved dramatically over the course of the season, as evidenced by his performance at the Harvard Select Meet last Saturday. The Crimson standout not only won both weight events in the same competition for the first time in his career, but also set personal bests in each. Brady’s heave of 16.53 meters in the shot put once again put him well over the IC4A qualifying mark, as did his throw of 18.20 meters with the hammer.

Although Brady remains almost a meter off the NCAA provisional mark in both events, his strong efforts early in the season bode well for further improvement. His coach is grateful not just for the boost in points that Brady provides each week, but also for the good example his captain has set, with or without a weight in his hand.

“[Brady] has been a great leader both as a captain and as a role model for being a dedicated student-athlete,” Harvard coach Jason Saretsky said. “He wants to put his best foot forward, and for him to have this kind of season as a senior, I’m really happy for him.”

Fortunately for Brady and the Crimson, it seems that the senior’s best has yet to come. With over a month until IC4A’s, the captain has plenty of chances to improve on his personal mark.

Men's Basketball Sells Out

Published by Christina C. Mcclintock on January 28, 2010 at 10:10PM

It used to be that people could just show up to a Harvard men’s basketball game. Now the market for tickets is as competitive as the summer job market.

Take this weekend: both of the Crimson’s games in New York have sold out—a Friday night contest at Columbia, and Saturday night’s game at Cornell, the first of two highly touted match-ups against the league’s two-time defending champions.

The Cornell game looked to be a attraction early on because the two are arguably the best and certainly the most visible teams in the Ivy League, with both having challenged top Division I programs so far this season, including Cornell’s 5-point loss to Kansas.

Columbia, meanwhile, has recent history with the Crimson, having beaten Harvard last season at home on a last-second jumper by current senior Kevin Bulger. Lions fans seem to be rushing to Levien Gym in hopes of seeing similar action. Harvard has emerged victorious only once in its last six trips to Levien Gym.

But it’s not just New York that’s going crazy for the Crimson. Tickets for Harvard’s home contests against the Killer P’s—Penn and Princeton—went up for sale today at 3 pm and are disappearing quickly.

According to senior running back Cheng Ho, who has been in contact with the Athletic Department, the 400 tickets allotted for undergraduate students have all been taken for the Princeton game, and the tickets for Penn are going fast.

Whether in the Big Apple, Ithaca, or Cambridge, Harvard basketball seems to be, for the time being, the biggest show in town.

Cornell Hires New Football Coach

Published by Kate Leist on January 27, 2010 at 11:47PM

There’s a new man in charge of the Cornell football program.

After Christmas, former Big Red coach Jim Knowles stepped down to take the defensive coordinator position at Duke, and Cornell conducted a national search for a new leader. The school found its man in Mississippi offensive coordinator Kent Austin.

The Big Red will officially present Austin in a press conference at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Knowles resigned after six seasons at the helm in Ithaca, leading his alma mater to a 26-34 overall record (16-26 in Ivy play). Cornell finished at or above .500 in three consecutive seasons (2005-2007) and finished third in the Ivy League in 2004—the first team in Ancient Eight history to follow up a winless conference season with a winning league record.

The Big Red finished in the Ivy basement last season, though, going 2-8 overall and 1-6 in conference.

Austin arrives in Ithaca after two seasons of leading the Rebel offense. In his tenure, Ole Miss recorded consecutive nine-win seasons and won two Cotton Bowls.

He will inherit a Cornell squad that finished sixth among Ancient Eight programs last year in both scoring and total offense.

Austin is the second new Ivy coach to be appointed this offseason. Princeton announced the hiring of Cincinnati Bengals assistant and Tiger alum Bob Surace on Dec. 23.

Former Princeton coach Roger Hughes was fired the day after the regular season ended.