Sports

Men’s lacrosse drops Ivy League opener to Harvard

Despite dynamic offense, Bears fail to finish drill, outpaced in close road loss to Crimson

By
Staff Writer
Sunday, March 18, 2018

Coming off of an upset victory against Villanova University, the Bears were unable to start their Ivy League slate with a win against Harvard.

Entering the weekend off of a win against a previously undefeated Villanova University squad, the men’s lacrosse team hoped to serve Harvard its second loss of the season. However, strong goalkeeping and a consistent offensive attack allowed the Crimson (5-1, 0-1 Ivy) to narrowly edge out the Bears (2-3, 0-1), 10-8 Saturday.

Harvard opened scoring with 9:45 left in the first quarter. The Crimson struck again less than a minute later and held onto the lead for the duration of the matchup.

Jackson Newsome ’19 notched the first point for the Bears midway through the quarter and scored his initial goal in what would become a hat-trick effort.

The Crimson responded quickly, scoring once more to put the game at 3-1 with just under five minutes remaining in the period. Jake Miller ’18 replied with a goal 10 seconds later and trimmed the deficit to one before the end of the stanza.

The second quarter followed a pattern similar to that of the first, as Harvard posted the opening pair of goals. Carson Song ’19 scored with 4:54 remaining in the second, and Harvard followed with a goal roughly two minutes later. Michael Panepinto ’19 found the back of the net as another 3-2 quarter gave the Crimson a 6-4 lead over the Bears entering halftime.

Newsome got Bruno off to a quick start in the second half by recording a goal in the first 40 seconds of the third period. However, the Crimson widened its lead with three straight goals, and the Bears found themselves at a 9-5 deficit with 8:23 to go in the third quarter.

But Stephen Hudak ’18 ended Harvard’s run by finding the back of the net three minutes later. Newsome then scored his third goal of the afternoon with four seconds left in the period and narrowed Harvard’s advantage to two upon entering the final quarter of play.

The fourth quarter was a low-scoring affair, as the Crimson put away a goal with 6:16 left to play. Panepinto scored again with just over two minutes remaining and set the game at its eventual final score of 10-8.

The Bears finished with a season-high 45 shots on the game, but the team struggled to convert these attempts into points. Only 25 shots were on goal, and Harvard managed to make 17 saves for the afternoon.

“Hats off to that goalie — he played a great game,” said Luke McCaleb ’20. “But the harder you make it for the goalie, the easier it is to win and score goals. So I think the biggest thing is just getting back out there … making sure we’re flowing and finishing our shots.”

Newsome led overall scoring for Brown with three goals. Song paced the team with four assists, and Phil Goss ’20 posted nine saves on the afternoon.

“We worked really hard and played with a lot of heart, but we didn’t execute. Our fundamentals weren’t there most of the game,” wrote Miller in an email to The Herald. “Their settled defense (stifled) us and we missed valuable chances to take the ball away.”

The loss to Harvard marks yet another narrow defeat for Bruno, as all three of the team’s losses on the season have come by a margin of two goals or fewer. According to McCaleb, the team can end up on the right side of close finishes by sticking to the basics.

“It’s the little things that make the biggest difference, whether it’s riding for one more second, … finishing one more shot or coming to and through a pass,” McCaleb said. “Those little things build up, and they turn into big things, which end in wins.”

The Bears will be back in action Tuesday as they travel to Worcester to face the College of the Holy Cross before returning home to host the University of Massachusetts Amherst Saturday.