Last Saturday at Harvard Stadium, the men's lacrosse team made a big step forward in its season with a 13–11 victory over Brown's Ivy League rivals.
Sure, Cornell and Princeton are equally important and detested opponents, but Harvard is always one of our biggest games for a couple of reasons. They have a humongous stadium and a Jumbotron — two things Brown Lacrosse will never have. Their fans hate us and our school (hate is a very strong word, but from the things they say I don't know what other word to use). They somehow are always ranked ahead of us, and their recruiting classes are always deemed "better" by "expert" opinion. Well, Harvard can keep their Jumbotron and Roman Coliseum and preseason rankings…I'd rather have a W.
For the second year in a row, the men's lacrosse team beat Harvard on the Crimson's home field. In front of a Brown-dominated crowd (thank you DPhi party bus and Harvard spring break), the Bears came out physically and emotionally determined to win.
The Crimson scored first, but the Bears responded with six straight goals, started by Collins Carey '10 and aided by two goals from Andrew Feinberg '11, who led the bears with four on the day. This 6–0 run proved to be too much for Harvard, as the Bears never trailed after Collins' goal.
Give them credit, though; the Crimson fought back Saturday, as they did last year. By halftime we were up 7-4, and after exchanging goals, it was 11-7 at the end of the third. With a four-goal lead going into the fourth quarter, it is easy to feel comfortable, but that is the danger of every Ivy League game — every game is huge, and every game matters.
Harvard managed to cut the lead to 12–11 with 2:08 to play. But with big wins at the face-off X from Seth Ratner '11 and captain Charlie Kenney '10, who combined for a strong 16-27 day at the X, the Bears were able to hold onto the ball and put the game away as the Burglar (Feinberg) stuck his fourth of the day with 53 seconds left. Final Score: 13-11, Good Guys.
This game, though, was decided by the gritty stats that might go overlooked. We had eleven more ground balls (GBs) than Harvard. That means we had eleven more possessions, eleven more chances to score. Freshmen Roger Ferguson '13 and Alex Jones '13 owned the face-off wings all day to finish with six and five GBs, respectively. Big Ups to the rookies. Peter Fallon '11 had five GBs, and Jake Westermann '10 and Jimmy Wittpenn '11, the Strong Islanders, each had three.
The Rhino (Brennan Bailey '12), also a Strong Islander, had a monster hit on a Harvard attackman around the crease, setting the tone for the day and showing why you never trespass a Rhino's territory.
Our scrappy play and riding led to extra possessions and a few goals on the day, most notably our second one, where Thomas Muldoon '10 picked off a pass from Harvard's goalie, then — BANG — passed it to Feinberg on the crease…GOAL (and it looked sick on the Jumbotron replay). Those are the types of plays that won the game and, as Coach Tiffany says, that's what Brown State is all about.
Next test: UMass. Tuesday, 4 p.m. on Meister-Kavan. Get some.