With a possible spot in the Ivy tournament on the line and the seniors playing in their final home games at Harvard Stadium, the Crimson certainly had no shortage of motivation. The only question was whether there was enough time.
The Harvard and Penn men’s lacrosse teams both entered Saturday’s contest in Philadelphia, Penn., looking to break out of weeks-long funks. With the calendar inching towards May, when the conference tournament takes place in New York, every loss was becoming more and more costly.
Behind sophomore attackman Jeff Teat’s strong play, Cornell comfortably topped Harvard, 15-11, handing the visiting Crimson its first conference loss of the year. Harvard drops to the third spot in the conference, while the Big Red now sits second behind No. 3 Yale, which is still undefeated in the Ivy with a 4-0 record.
With the dramatic overtime victory, Harvard secured its best start to a season since 1990. Meanwhile, Boston University suffered its third straight loss after a promising start to the year. Senior Morgan Cheek broke an all-time program record for points in a game with 13.
Heading into the 2018 season, the Harvard men’s lacrosse team returns the bulk of its squad from last year, having graduated only five seniors. With a mix of strong leadership and talented underclassmen, the Crimson hopes to secure its first winning record since 2014.
Both matchups came down to the wire, and whereas strong defensive play over the weekend helped Harvard (1-1, 0-0 Ivy) close out a 10-9 win over the River Hawks (1-1, 0-0 America East), a defensive slip on Tuesday night proved costly in a 10-9 (2OT) loss to the Crusaders (1-2, 0-0 Patriot). In splitting the contests, the Crimson will now enter its preparations for its first road game sitting at .500.
After a close first half, Harvard fell to Princeton 6-1, resulting in the Crimson’s worst loss since a 7-0 defeat to UCLA in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. In conference play, it is the worst margin the team has suffered since a 5-0 loss to Princeton in 2006.
The next five days for the Harvard women’s soccer team will perhaps be a test of two things: endurance and the ability to fine-tune. Can the Crimson squad, sitting on a 4-2 record for the year, pull through a grueling stretch of three games in five days while continuing to dutifully prepare for the quickly-approaching Ivy League conference play?
The Harvard women’s soccer team kicked off its most travel-intensive week of the season this past weekend, heading to central New York to face off against ACC foe Syracuse. Combined with its trip to Pennsylvania this coming Friday, the Crimson will have traveled over 1,200 miles round-trip in just over a week.