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Ivy League Tournament Berth On The Line As Men's Lacrosse Hosts Yale

Harvard will clinch a spot in the 2013 Ivy League Tournament with a win over Yale  (Gil Talbot).

The Storyline
The Harvard men's lacrosse team will host No. 15/15 Yale Saturday, April 27 on Senior Day at Harvard Stadium with a spot in the Ivy League Tournament on the line. Face off is slated for 2 p.m.

A live video stream will be available through GoCrimson.com by clicking here. Live stats will also be available by clicking here.

Where We Stand
One spot in the 2013 Ivy League Tournament is still up for grabs as the Ancient Eight heads into its final weekend of play.  Cornell has already clinched the top seed in the tournament and the right to host with a 5-0 conference mark, while Princeton and Yale are also in at 3-2. The Tigers and Bulldogs can be anywhere from the No. 2 to No. 4 seed depending on this weekend's results.

Harvard and Penn remain as the only teams on the bubble but the Crimson controls its own fate and is in the tournament with a win. Harvard cannot get in to the tournament with a loss.

Tournament Scenario Breakdown (courtesy IvyLeagueSports.com)

  • If Harvard and Cornell win: Cornell is No. 1, Princeton is No. 2, Harvard is No. 3 and Yale is No. 4. 
  • If Harvard and Princeton win: Cornell is No. 1, Princeton is No. 2, Harvard would be No. 3 and Yale is No. 4.
  • If Yale and Cornell win: Cornell is No. 1, Yale is No. 2, Penn is No. 3 and Princeton is No. 4.
  • If Yale and Princeton win: Cornell is No. 1, Princeton is No. 2, Yale is No. 3 and Penn is No. 4.

#BostonStrong
Harvard will commemorate all those affected by the tragedy at the Boston Marathon with a special helmet decal (pictured below) which will be worn for the remainder of the season.

Last Time Out
The Harvard men's lacrosse team suffered a 14-6 loss to No. 13/12 Princeton on Friday, its fourth ranked opponent in four weeks.

Carl Zimmerman scored two goals on two shots to pace the Harvard attack. Devin Dwyer and Alex White tallied two points on one goal and one assist, while Sean McDonagh and Murphy Vandervelde each scored once. 

Harry Krieger came away with eight saves in goal as Gabriel Mendola went 11-of-14 at the face off X and collected a team-high seven ground balls. Princeton outshot the Crimson 43-18 while converting 18-of-24 clear attempts. Harvard, meanwhile, won 12-of-22 face offs and was 8-of-12 on clears.

Scouting Yale
Yale, ranked 15th in both the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and USILA Coaches' Poll, had won five straight games before suffering an 8-7 setback at No. 4/4 Maryland on Saturday. The Bulldogs are 8-4 overall on the year and 3-2 in Ivy League play.

Yale has averaged 10.42 goals per game while allowing opponents to score just 8.08 goals per contest, the ninth best mark in the NCAA. The Bulldogs also boast one of the nation's top face off units as its .616 win percentage at the X ranks sixth  in the country.

Brandon Mangan's 52 points (30g, 22a) pace the Yale attack while his 4.33 points per game rank him seventh nationally. Three other Bulldogs have also registered more than 20 points, including Conrad Oberbeck (25g, 4a), Kirby Zdrill (22g, 2a) and Colin Flaherty (13g, 8a). Defensively, Eric Natale ranks as one of the top goalkeepers in the NCAA as his 7.99 goals against average is 10th best in the land. Natale also sports a .527 save percentage. Peter Johnson has caused 25 turnovers in front of Natale as Dylan Levings has collected 97 ground balls to go with his .620 win percentage at the X which ranks sixth in the NCAA.

Inside the Series
Harvard trails the all-time series with Yale, 33-59, but has won six of the last 10 meetings between the squads. The Bulldogs took last year's contest in New Haven, 10-8, to avenge a 9-5 victory by the Crimson in 2011 at Harvard Stadium. The home team in this series has won four straight games with the last victory by a road team coming in 2008 when Harvard won at Yale, 9-5.

Up Next
The 2013 Ivy League Tournament will take place May 3-5 in Ithaca, N.Y. Both semifinal matchups will be aired live on ESPN3, while the championship game will be carried live on ESPNU.

CLASS Act
Captain Jason Gonos was one of 10 NCAA lacrosse student-athletes selected as a finalist for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate men's lacrosse. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. 

Gonos has anchored Harvard's defensive unit for the last four years, but even more impressive than his play on the field has been his work within the community. In November, he organized the Crimson's involvement in Lacrosse Mustache Madness which raised $6,979 for the HEADstrong Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer. Gonos has also spent time working with Happy Helpers for the Homeless in his home state of Maryland, helping to feed and clothe the homeless in Glen Burnie, Md.

Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website or on the Senior CLASS Award Facebook fan page through May 13. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner.

Rank and File
Inside Lacrosse released its midseason ranking of the top 25 freshmen from around the country on April 17 with Harvard's Devin Dwyer coming in at No. 3. Penn State's T.J. Sanders is listed at No. 1 with Notre Dame's Matt Kavanagh coming in at No. 2.

Related Link: 2013 Inside Lacrosse Midseason Freshmen Rankings

Harvard in the Inside Lacrosse Freshmen Rankings
2013 – Devin Dwyer, No. 3*
2011 – Daniel Eipp, No. 25
2009 – Jeff Cohen, No. 7
2008 – Dean Gibbons, No. 22

* - Midseason Ranking

Rookie of the Week
Freshmen Devin Dwyer earned his second straight Ivy League Rookie of the Week honor on April 15 after posting nine points (2 g, 7a) in a 2-0 week for the Crimson. He began with a career-high six points against Quinnipiac on Tuesday, scoring two goals and dishing out four assists. Dwyer added three assists on Saturday as Harvard knocked off No. 16/14 Penn in overtime, 8-7.

Dwyer was also named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week on April 8 for his five-point performance against No. 2/2 Cornell. Dwyer found the back of the net twice against the Big Red, and handed out three assists.

Young Gun
Freshman Devin Dwyer currently leads the team and ranks sixth in the conference with 40 points. His 24 assists are also a team-high and are third best in the conference while his 16 goals rank second among the Crimson, 19th in the Ancient Eight.

Dwyer opened his career scoring in seven straight games, including a streak of five games in which he tallied multiple points, and has scored in 12 of Harvard's 13 contests this year. He is vying to become the first freshman to lead Harvard in scoring since Jeff Cohen '12 in 2009. Cohen tallied 41 points that season on 34 goals and seven assists.

Strength of Schedule
Harvard's 2013 schedule features nine opponents currently ranked in the top 25 of the NCAA's RPI; No. 5 Cornell, No. 7 Duke, No. 11 Yale, No. 13 Albany, No. 14 Penn, No. 18 Princeton, No. 19 UMass, No. 24 Hofstra and No. 25 Brown. The Crimson, which is ranked No. 27 itself, is just 1-7 so far in these games but lost to Cornell, Duke, UMass and Brown by just two goals each.

Taking Advantage
Harvard leads the Ivy League with 23 goals on the man-advantage while converting on 46.0 percent of its opportunities, tops in the conference and sixth best in the NCAA. The Crimson has scored 17 man-up goals in its last six games, including four against Cornell and Quinnipiac.

Step Your Game Up
Sophomore Murphy Vandervelde, who had totaled zero goals in the first seven appearances of his career, has scored 14 goals over the team's last seven outings and ranks fourth overall on the team. Vandervelde has turned in three hat tricks during this stretch, most recently against No. 16/14 Penn with his third tally giving the Crimson an 8-7 overtime victory.

Overtime Upset
The Crimson earned an 8-7 overtime victory over No. 16/14 Penn on April 13, marking the team's first win over a ranked opponent since defeating then 14th-ranked Penn 12-8 in the Ivy League semifinals on May 6, 2011. The triumph was also the team's first in overtime since taking out Brown, 10-9, on March 17, 2012.

Player of the Week
Goalkeeper Harry Krieger has earned a pair of player of the week honors this season, most recently receiving the award from the Ivy League on March 25. The senior turned away 28 shots while allowing just 11 goals as the Crimson defeated both Bryant and Dartmouth, finishing the week with a .718 save percentage and a 5.50 goals against average. Krieger was also named the NEILA Player of the Week on March 11 after recording 12 saves in Harvard's 8-6 win over Georgetown.

Krieger enters the weekend ranked 27th in the NCAA with a 9.87 goals against average. His .544 save percentage is second in the Ivy League and 22nd best overall while his 11.5 saves per game pace the conference and rank 20th nationally.

Getting Defensive
Freshmen Robert Duvnjak has started 11 games for the Crimson on defense and currently leads the team with 16 caused turnovers while ranking fifth with 21 ground balls. Duvnjak made his collegiate debut against UMass and registered four caused turnovers, then added four more as Harvard defeated Georgetown.

White Hot
Senior Alex White, who registered a hat trick in each of the Crimson's first two games, enters the weekend with a team-high 20 goals and ranked third overall on the squad with 28 points (20g, 8a) from the midfield. White entered the season with 31 career points (19g, 12a) after having played in 41 of Harvard's 42 games over the previous three seasons.

Facing Off
Senior Rick Molé had a career day at the face off X against Brown, winning 15-of-20 draws while collecting four ground balls. Molé, who entered the year having taken just 32 face offs in his career, owns a .490 winning percentage at the X this season and ranks fifth in the Ivy League with 98 face offs won.

Staying Grounded
Junior Gabriel Mendola set a career-high with 10 ground balls at Brown. He is the first Crimson to recorded double-digit ground balls since Keegan Michel did so on April 10 of last season with 10 against Quinnipiac.

Sharing the Wealth
19 different members of the Crimson have combined to score 122 goals this season. Alex White leads the way with 20 tallies on the year, while Devin Dwyer and Peter Schwartz have added 16 goals and 15 goals, respectively.

Streaking
The Crimson has collected two two-game win streaks this season, most recently defeating Quinnipiac and No. 16/14 Penn in back-to-back contests. Harvard last won three straight games in 2011 when it defeated Princeton, Yale and Penn to reach the Ivy League Tournament finals.

Home Field Advantage
Harvard is 15-8 at home under Chris Wojcik '96, The Frisbie Family Head Coach for Harvard Men's Lacrosse, including a 4-4 mark in 2013. The Crimson boasts a 7-6 mark in Harvard Stadium and an 8-2 record at Soldiers Field Lacrosse Stadium.

Hats Off

Name
Daniel Eipp
Ryan Stevens
Murphy Vandervelde
Alex White
Peter Schwartz
Devin Dwyer
Brendan Newman

2013 Hat Tricks
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--
3
2
2
1
1

Career Hat Tricks
6
4
3
3
2
1
1

In the Spotlight
The Crimson will play twice in front of a national television audience in 2013 beginning with its March 30 meeting with Duke. The game, which will be aired live on NBC Sports Network, will be played under the lights of Harvard Stadium at 7 p.m. The Crimson will also be featured on ESPNU when it takes the field at Princeton Friday, April 19 at 6 p.m.

Watch Live Online
Harvard has announced that for the first time ever, each of the Crimson's nine home games will be available either through live or on-demand streaming. Eight of the nine will streamed live through GoCrimson.com while the Crimson's nationally televised matchup with No. 13/14 Duke will be available for on-demand viewing shortly after its completion.

A full season pass can be purchased for $59.95 while single event subscriptions will be offered for $9.95. The full season pass will give fans access to each of the eight games streamed live as well as access to the on-demand archive for all nine home contests.

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