No. 17 Men's Lacrosse Visits No. 11 Penn Saturday
The Crimson enters the weekend atop the Ivy League standings with a 3-0 record (Zack Williamson).
The No. 17 Harvard men's lacrosse team will look to remain unbeaten in Ivy League play this weekend as it travels to Philadelphia to take on No. 11 Penn Saturday, April 12. Faceoff from Franklin Field is scheduled for 1 p.m. live on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Rank and File
Harvard has entered the USILA Div. I Coaches Poll at No. 17 and is listed as receiving votes in the Warrior Div. I Media Top 20. The Crimson last appeared in the media poll the week of Feb. 26, 2012 when the media had the squad at No. 15, and in the coaches poll the week of March 5, 2012 when the coaches had the squad ranked No. 20.
Where We Stand
Harvard has taken over sole possession of first place in the Ivy League standings with an unblemished 3-0 record, marking the first time the team has begun 3-0 in the conference since 1998. Cornell is a half-game behind the Crimson at 3-1, with Yale and Penn tied for third at 2-2. Brown and Princeton are still alive for a spot in the Ivy League Tournament and are tied for fifth at 1-2.
Harvard has games remaining against Penn, Princeton and Yale, and can clinch a berth in the conference tournament with one win.
The Quakers enter Saturday ranked 11th in both the Warrior Div. I Media Top 20 and the USILA Div. I Coaches Poll after picking up back-to-back wins over Yale and Brown. Penn is 5-3 overall for the year, but is just 2-2 in the Ivy League.
Penn features a balanced attack as seven members of the Quakers have scored at least 11 points. Nick Doktor leads the way with 10 goals and nine assists, with Isaac Bock (13g, 5a) and Zack Losco (9g, 9a) adding 18 points and 17 points, respectively.
Brian Feeney has played every minute in goal for Penn and sports a 9.88 goals against average with a .512 save percentage. Danny Feeney has served as the team's faceoff specialist, winning 60-of-141 faceoffs on the year.
Inside the Series
Harvard leads the all-time series with Penn, 44-36-2, including an 8-7 overtime victory last year at Harvard Stadium. Murphy Vandervelde scored the game winner with just 2:42 remaining in overtime, giving the Crimson its second win over the Quakers in the last three meetings.
Harvard will host Princeton next Saturday, April 19 in its home finale at Harvard Stadium. Faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. with the game being simulcast on ESPN3 and the Ivy League Digital Network.
Last Time Out
The No. 17 Harvard men's lacrosse team kept its home win streak alive with a 14-9 victory over Boston University Tuesday night at Harvard Stadium.
Harvard improved to 5-0 at home with the win and moved its overall record to 7-4 thanks in part to a five-point effort from Peter Schwartz. The senior co-captain totaled three goals and two assists, complementing the three-goal performance by Will Walker. Devin Dwyer chipped in two goals and one assist for a total of three points.
In the Spotlight
Harvard will play three games at Harvard Stadium in front of a national audience on ESPN3. The Crimson's games versus Dartmouth (March 22), Boston University (April 8) and Princeton (April 19) will be simulcast on ESPN3, the WatchESPN App and the Ivy League Digital Network as part of an agreement between ESPN and Harvard Athletics.
Ivy League Digital Network
For the first time ever, all of Harvard's home games and road Ivy League contests will be streamed in HD quality featuring a live scoreboard, new graphics package and play-by-play commentary through the Ivy League Digital Network. Subscribers to the network can watch games both live and On-Demand from their computers, tablets or smart phones, and will have access to live and On-Demand content for all Harvard events throughout the duration of their subscription.
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Players of the Week
Goalkeeper Jake Gambitsky was named Ivy League Player of the Week March 10 after leading Harvard to a 2-0 week with 30 saves between the pipes. The junior turned away 12 shots en route to a 10-8 victory over Quinnipiac to open the week, then registered 18 stops in the team's 15-7 win at Georgetown, marking the most saves by a member of the Crimson since Harry Krieger '13 made 19 on March 29, 2011 against UMass.
Gabriel Mendola picked up his first career Ivy League Player of the Week honor April 7 following his dominating performance at the faceoff X against then-No. 2/2 Cornell. Mendola went a career-high 20-of-26 at the X while collecting 10 ground balls, helping the Crimson control possession it a 14-9 upset victory over the Big Red.
Related Link: Gambitsky Named Ivy League Player of the Week | XXX
Against the Odds
Harvard knocked off then No. 2/2 Cornell on April 5, 14-9, marking the highest ranked opponent the Crimson has ever beaten and the sixth win versus a ranked opponent under Chris Wojcik '96, The Frisbie Family Head Coach for Harvard Lacrosse.
Shutting Them Down
Harvard's defensive unit held Cornell to just nine goals in the team's upset victory, marking the first time since March 23, 2013 that the Big Red had scored fewer than 10 goals. Cornell's dynamic trio of Dan Lintner, Connor Buczek and Matt Donovan, who entered the game ranked third, 12th and 35th in the nation in goals per game, combined to score just one goal on eight shots.
Light Up The Scoreboard
Harvard entered the week ranked 14th in the nation in scoring offense with an average of 12.10 goals per game. The Crimson owns the nation's longest double-digit scoring streak, having notched at least 10 goals in eight straight games, and has done so a total of nine times this year.
Cornell previously had scored in double-digits in 20 straight games dating back to March 23, 2013, before Harvard put an end to that streak to take the top spot on the list.
Finding the Back of the Net
Will Walker has scored 16 goals over the Crimson's last four games, including a career-high five against Dartmouth. Walker's five goals versus the Big Green were the most by a member of the Crimson since Jeff Cohen '12 tallied seven against Michigan on March 31, 2012. Walker's team-leading 29 goals scored on the year, meanwhile, are also the most for the Crimson since Cohen tallied 48 in 2012.
Devin Dwyer returned to the Crimson lineup at Georgetown after missing the team's first four games. In his first outing Dwyer set a career-high with five assists, and totaled five points on three goals and two assists in his second contest against Brown. The Crimson's leading scorer in 2013 as a freshman, Dwyer ranks third on the team with 29 points (8g, 21a) despite playing in just seven games.
At the X
Gabriel Mendola had a career day at the faceoff X against Cornell, winning 20-of-26 faceoffs while collecting 10 ground balls. Mendola has won 54.4 percent (86-158) of the faceoffs he has taken this season, and boasts a career win percentage of 55.7.
Harvard's sophomore class has accounted for 61 percent of the Crimson's offense this season. The group has totaled 133 of the team's 219 points, led by Will Walker (29g, 3a), Devin Dwyer (8g, 21a), Deke Burns (11g, 5a) and Sean Mahon (9g, 7a).
Turning Them Away
Jake Gambitsky has been solid in goal for the Crimson, allowing 10.27 goals per game while posting a .495 save percentage. Gambitsky has recorded double-digit saves in six of Harvard's 11 contests this season, and has set a career high with seven wins between the pipes.
Sophomores Deke Burns and Will Walker had breakout performances against Holy Cross as each turned in a hat trick. Burns totaled five points with four goals and one assist, with Walker registering four points on three goals and one assist. Burns entered the season having scored just five career points (1g, 4a) while Walker contributed 21 points (15g, 6a) as a freshman.
Point Scoring Streaks
Points During Streak
2014 Hat Tricks
Career Hat Tricks
Strength of Schedule
Eight of Harvard's 14 2014 opponents are currently ranked or receiving votes in either the Warrior Div. I Media Top 20 or the USILA Div. I Coaches Poll; Duke (2/2), North Carolina (4/4), Cornell (6/6), Penn (11/11), Yale (13/13), UMass (16/14), Princeton (17/15) and Albany (RV/RV).
Home Field Advantage
Harvard is 20-9 at home under Chris Wojcik '96, The Frisbie Family Head Coach for Harvard Men's Lacrosse, including an unblemished 5-0 record in 2014. The Crimson is 9-7 in Harvard Stadium, and boasts an 11-2 record at Soldiers Field Lacrosse Stadium.