Mark Scalise and the 17th-ranked Crimson defeated No. 15 Penn, 12-8, in the Ivy League semifinal round Friday (Patrick Shanahan).
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No. 17 Harvard will face No. 2 Cornell looking to grab the Ivy League's automatic berth in the NCAA tournament, as the Crimson and Big Red meet in the conference tournament final Sunday afternoon.
Follow From Home
ESPNU and ESPN3.com will broadcast the game live, with Rob Simelkjaer (play-by-play) and Jamie Munro (color) having the call. In addition, live statistics will also be available for the contest.
Harvard scored six goals in the third quarter and led, 9-7, entering the final frame, but Cornell emerged with a 13-12 victory at Harvard Stadium April 9. Ryan Stevens scored four times, and Kevin Vaughan added a hat trick for the Crimson, while goalie Harry Krieger recorded 14 saves. Cornell's David Lau led all scorers with eight points (5-3-8).
The Crimson trails the all-time series to the Big Red, 61-23. Cornell has won the last 13 games between the Ivy League rivals after Harvard took five straight in the series from 1994-98. The Big Red has emerged with one-goal victories in each of the last three seasons (13-12 in 2009, 13-12 in 2010 and 13-12 earlier this year).
Harvard In The Postseason
The Crimson is looking to earn its first berth in the NCAA tournament since 2006. Harvard has qualified for the NCAA postseason five times, reaching the quarterfinals in 1990 and 1996. The Crimson is 2-5 all-time in the NCAA postseason and its 12-8 win against Penn Friday was the first for Harvard in the Ivy League tournament.
The Crimson owns a 4-3 record against ranked opponents this spring, topping then-No. 20 Georgetown, 16-15, then-No. 14 Massachusetts, 11-9, then-No. 14 Yale, 9-5, and No. 15 Penn, 12-8, in the Ivy tournament. Harvard also fell to then-No. 5 Hofstra, 15-9, then-No. 6 Cornell by a goal, 13-12, and then-No. 15 Penn, 7-6, in double overtime. Harvard is 0-1 on the road against ranked opponents, but is 3-2 at home, including 2-2 at Harvard Stadium, and is 1-0 at neutral sites.
Getting A Lead
Harvard is 6-0 when scoring first this season. The Crimson has found the back of the net first and won against Canisius, Holy Cross, Brown, Quinnipiac, Yale and Penn in the Ivy League tournament semifinals.
Dean Gibbons (A) and Kevin Vaughan (M) earned All-Ivy League first-team accolades, with Gibbons being named to the squad unanimously. Daniel Eipp (A) and Paul Pate garnered All-Ivy honorable mention.
On The Sideline
Chris Wojcik '96, the Frisbie Family Head Coach for Harvard Men's Lacrosse, owns a 10-5 overall record and 3-3 Ivy League mark in his first season at the helm of the Crimson. Wojcik is two wins shy of tying Robert Madduz (1947-48) for eighth in program history with 12 victories.
Converting Man-Up Chances
Harvard has scored 23 man-up goals out of 58 chances this season (.397). Opponents are 12-of-49 for a 24.5 percent success rate. The Crimson entered the week 11th in the country in man-down defense and 15th in man-up offense. Jeff Cohen leads the Ivy League with seven man-up goals.
With 10 wins this season, Harvard has posted its most victories since going 11-3 during the 1998 campaign. The Crimson last won 12 games in 1996, going 12-3.
Harvard boasted a 6-2 record at home this season with wins over Canisius, Georgetown, Bellarmine, Holy Cross, Massachusetts and Yale. The Crimson went 1-2 against Ivy League foes at home this season. Harvard was 2-2 at Harvard Stadium and 4-0 at the new Soldiers Field Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium.
Plenty of Points
Jeff Cohen has been one of Harvard's most consistent scorers in his three years in Cambridge. Cohen, who had a 34-game point streak from Feb. 28, 2009 to April 2, 2011, has amassed at least one point in 38 of 40 games during his collegiate career (94-17-111). Dean Gibbons is currently riding a 28-game point streak since May 2, 2009, and has amassed 101 points during that stretch (59-42-101). Gibbons collected a point in every game during the 2010 campaign and every contest so far in 2011.
Leading The Offense
Dean Gibbons, who was named to the 2011 Tewaaraton Award Watch List and serves as a co-captain of the Crimson, leads Harvard with 58 points and 28 assists, and is second with 30 goals and six man-up tallies this spring.
To The Nines
Harvard has won 40 of its last 49 games (.816) in which it has scored nine or more goals. The Crimson has lost 40 of its last 48 games (.167) in which it has scored fewer than nine goals.