Another close game. Another loss for the men’s lacrosse team.
This last loss, however, was especially heartbreaking. With 2.7 seconds left in regulation, Harvard’s Mike McBride scored to lift the Cantabs over Yale, 11-10, Saturday night at Johnson Field. It was Yale’s fifth one-goal decision in its last six games. All but one of the five were losses.
“It’s a huge game because it’s Harvard,” goalkeeper Jordan Ellis ’07 said. “It just felt terrible to lose to Harvard. It was not any more devastating a loss. The Harvard game just has a different aura to it. It’s disappointing in itself.”
Compounding the fact that Yale fell to its archrival was the way in which the Bulldogs went down. Tied 10-10 and with possession of the ball in the game’s final minute, Yale had a chance to hold for the last shot. But before the Bulldogs could even unload, Harvard intercepted a pass, raced to the midfield line and called timeout.
As the clock approached zero, McBride caught Jeff Gottschall’s errant shot and redirected it past Ellis for the game-winner.
Although Harvard needed some late game heroics, for a while the Cantabs were on the verge of routing the Bulldogs. After the two teams battled to a 4-4 first quarter, Harvard outscored Yale 3-0 in the second to go into the break up 7-4.
“We came out sluggish and didn’t play well in the first half,” defender Gray Eklund ’06 said. “We really dug ourselves a hole.”
Yale emerged from halftime on fire, scoring six of the game’s next seven goals to go ahead 10-8. But 10 seconds after captain Scott
Kenworthy ’04 scored at 10:43 in the fourth quarter, Gottschall responded, triggering a 3-0 Harvard run.
“We really came together in the second half,” attacker Dan Brillman ’06 said. “The ball just didn’t bounce our way.”
Gottschall led all scorers with four goals and collected the game-winning assist.
Kenworthy paced the Bulldogs with a hat trick. Midfielder Ned Britt ’04, attacker Colin Neville ’06 and Brillman contributed with two goals apiece while midfielder Ryan Capilupi ’04 tallied once.
Goalie Roy Skeen ’04 started in the Bulldogs’ home finale and allowed three goals without a save in less than six minutes. He yielded to Ellis, who finished with eight saves. Jack McKenna had five saves for Harvard.
Turnovers again proved costly for the Bulldogs, who have struggled increasingly with maintaining possession as the season has progressed.
“It’s just fatigue,” Ellis said. “We’ve played one of the toughest schedules in the nation. We’re playing nine games in four weeks, so we have two or three practice days, then a game. That’ll take a lot out of you. We’ve shown we can play well, but it’s hard to do that for a long stretch with a schedule like ours.”
Yale next travels to Fairfield tomorrow for a non-conference game against the Stags. It will feature the first match-up between the Bulldogs and former interim head coach Darryl Delia, now an assistant head coach at Fairfield.
The Bulldogs conclude their season May 1 at Loyola.
“We’re excited about our next two games,” Eklund said. “We have a chance to get to .500 and we want to finish the season on a winning note.”