Instead, it was Harvard — a team that finished with a sub-.400 winning percentage last spring — that got Coach Byrne to leave South Bend.
This game represented the last time six seniors would take the field wearing the Harvard lacrosse jersey. The class of 2019 includes attacker Lauren Bidstrup, Butler, defenseman Spencer Daniel, midfielder James Sullivan, and midfielder Eric Wang.
A week after one of the toughest losses of the year against No. 7/6 Penn (8-3, 6-0 Ivy League), tri-captain and junior attacker Kyle Anderson came out and tied his career high with seven goals in a stellar performance against Princeton in an effort to keep playoff hopes alive for the Crimson.
After an incredible midseason surge brought the men’s lacrosse team to above .500 for the first time this season, the Crimson had its three-game win streak snapped against its first ranked opponent since taking on No. 12/14 North Carolina in the season opener.
After starting the 2019 season with three straight losses, many wrote off the Harvard lacrosse team. Yet, after two straight wins against Hartford (1-8, 1-1 American East Conference) and Providence (4-5), the Crimson (4-4, 1-1 Ivy League) went into its week-long road trip full of confidence and motivation.
“We’re really looking forward to getting the chance to prove ourselves as a team against some strong, out-of-conference opponents early in the season,” said freshman attackman Austin Madronic.
Three career games from three of the team’s most important players would bode well for any squad, but as it turned out, the Crimson would need every bit of individual brilliance from Anderson, Cheek, and Cuccurullo, and then some, on that chilly March night at Harvard Stadium.