The No. 10/13 Harvard men's lacrosse team will make its first road trip of the season this weekend as it heads south to take on No. 6/6 Duke, the two-time defending national champion. The game will be available to a national audience on ESPN3 and through the WatchESPN App.
Due to recent winter weather in the area, the game has been moved from Koskinen Stadium to the West Campus Turf Fields. Saturday's contest will mark the fourth straight year that the Crimson and Blue Devils have squared off and will be the seventh meeting between the teams in eight years. Duke leads the all-time series, 14-4, with Harvard's last win coming in 2009.
Rank and File
Harvard is ranked No. 10 in the USILA Div. I Coaches Poll, and 13th in the Cascade/Maverik Div. I Media Top 20. 10 of Harvard's 2015 opponents are also ranked or receiving votes in the polls, including five Ivy League programs; North Carolina (4/4), Duke (6/6), Yale (7/8), Albany (8/7), Cornell (13/9), Penn (16/11), Princeton (18/18), Holy Cross (19/19), Penn State (RV/RV), and Brown (RV/--).
Last Time Out
The No. 12/13 Harvard men's lacrosse team opened its 2015 season with flare, overcoming a three-goal fourth-quarter deficit to defeat UMass at Soldiers Field Lacrosse Stadium Saturday afternoon, 14-13.
Deke Burns scored seven goals to propel Harvard to the victory, marking the most goals scored by a member of the Crimson since Jeff Cohen '12 totaled eight versus Michigan on March 31, 2012. Devin Dwyer and Will Walker added two goals apiece with Dwyer also assisting on Burns' second tally for a total of three points. Freshman Joe Lang, making his collegiate debut, scored one goal and added two helpers.
Bryan Moore earned his first career win in goal after spelling starter Jake Gambitsky, recording three saves on four shots in 17:22. Gambitsky turned away seven shots but allowed 12 goals.
Deke Burns was named the Ivy League Player of the Week on Feb. 23 after scoring seven goals in Harvard's 14-13 come-from-behind win over UMass to open the season. The honor was the first of Burns' career.
Tickling the Twine
Deke Burns scored a career-high seven goals in the team's season opening win over UMass, marking the first time since Jeff Cohen '12 totaled eight goals versus Michigan on March 31, 2012 that a member of the Crimson has tallied at least seven scores. Burns' seven goals came on just nine shots, and represented just the third hat trick of his career.
Can't Stop Him
Devin Dwyer has recorded at least one point in 27 of 28 career games, including each of the team's last 20 outings. The junior has totaled 69 points (19g, 50a) during his current point-scoring streak, which ranks as the 23rd longest active streak in the NCAA.
Will Walker has scored at least one goal in 11 consecutive games, totaling 26 points (24g, 2a) during this time. Walker's streak includes five multi-goal performances and four hat tricks.
Just Win, Baby
Junior Bryan Moore picked up his first career victory in the team's season-opening win versus UMass after spelling starter Jake Gambitsky late in the third quarter. Moore, who previously had just 10:23 of game action under his belt, registered four saves in 17:22, including one from point-blank range with 35 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
Home Field Advantage
Harvard is 23-10 at home under Chris Wojcik '96, The Frisbie Family Head Coach for Harvard Men's Lacrosse, including a 7-1 record in 2014. The Crimson is 11-8 in Harvard Stadium with Wojcik at the helm, and boasts an 12-2 record at Soldiers Field Lacrosse Stadium.
Bobby Duvnjak, Brian Fischer and Devin Dwyer were each named Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-Americans. Duvnjak and Fischer were each selected to the second team, while Dwyer received third team honors.
Additionally, five Crimson were recognized on the Preseason All-NEILA first team while Harvard was chosen first in the NEILA Preseason Poll; Duvnjak, Dwyer, Fischer, Stephen Jahelka and Sean Mahon.
Brian Fischer was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 Major League Lacrosse Draft by the Boston Cannons. Fischer, who became the sixth student-athlete in program history to be taken in the draft, was chosen 34th overall as the fourth pick in the fifth round.
He joins former Harvard standouts Daniel Eipp (2014 draft 32nd overall, Rochester Rattlers), Kevin Vaughn '12 (2012 draft 14th overall, Denver Outlaws), Daniel DiMaria '12 (2012 draft 41st overall, Charlotte Hounds), Jason Duboe '10 (2010 draft 33rd overall, Boston Cannons) and Henry Flood '07 (2007 draft 32nd overall, Washington Bayhawks) as one of six Crimson to be selected in the draft.
Named to the Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-America second team, Fischer helped anchor a Harvard defense in 2014 that allowed 9.76 goals per game while holding 11 of its 17 opponents to fewer than 10 goals.
Captaining the Ship
Senior Jake Gambitsky and juniors Stephen Jahelka and Sean Mahon were voted by their teammates as captains for the 2015 season.
"I am pleased to announce that Jake Gambitsky, Stephen Jahelka, and Sean Mahon have been elected captains for the 2014-2015 season," Wojcik stated. "Leadership development is an important component of our mission at Harvard and our lacrosse program. Each of our captains possess intrinsic leadership qualities, and this year I expect them to learn and grow as they help guide our team."
Welcome to Cambridge
Chris Wojcik '96, The Frisbie Family Head Coach for Harvard Men's Lacrosse has once again assembled one of the top recruiting classes in the nation with the addition of 12 freshmen for the 2015 season. Harvard's Class of 2018 has been ranked as the ninth-best recruiting class by Inside Lacrosse and features five individuals ranked in the top 100.
"We are happy to welcome our freshmen to the Harvard Lacrosse family as they arrive on campus today," Chris Wojcik '96, The Frisbie Family Head Coach for Harvard Men's Lacrosse, stated. "Twelve young men join our program, representing seven states and Washington D.C. The incoming class is an accomplished group, well prepared to begin the next chapter of their lives at Harvard. We expect the class of 2018 to make a significant contribution to our program as we begin preparations for the 2015 season."
Harvard has boasted a top-10 recruiting class each of the last six years, including third-ranked classes in 2011 and 2009, and the fourth-ranked class a year ago.
Bringing Home The Hardware
Harvard earned a share of the 2014 Ivy League Championship, the fourth Ancient Eight title in program history and first in 24 years. The Crimson finished the season off with a 10-7 overall record and 5-1 mark in conference, matching Cornell for the top spot in the Ivy League.
The Crimson last won the conference in 1990 under former head coach Scott Anderson, going 12-3 overall and 5-1 against the Ivies en route to the NCAA tournament quarterfinals. Harvard also won the conference in 1980 under current John D. Nichols '53 Family Director of Athletics Bob Scalise, and earned the program's first Ancient Eight title in 1964 under Bruce Munro.
Harvard's 10 wins in 2014 matched the highest total since going 11-3 in 1998, and marked the 16th time in program history that it has won 10 or more games in a season.
Harvard's 5-1 record against the Ivy League, meanwhile, matched the best conference record in program history. Harvard has now gone 5-1 in conference play six times, but never 6-0.
Sophomores Bobby Duvnjak and Devin Dwyer received All-America honorable mention honors, marking the first time since 2000 that a pair of Crimson teammates have made the list (Roger Buttles '01 and Keith Cynar '00). Harvard boasts 122 All-Americans in program history, including four under the guidance of Chris Wojcik '96, The Frisbie Family Head Coach for Harvard Men's Lacrosse.
Seven members of the Crimson were named to the All-Ivy League teams, highlighted by the selection of Devin Dwyer and Bobby Duvnjak to the first team. Peter Schwartz, Jake Gambitsky and Stephen Jahelka were each tabbed to the second team, while Will Walker and Carl Zimmerman received honorable mention nods.
Harvard's seven All-Ivy honorees are the second most in program history, behind only the 1996 squad which placed eight on the all-conference teams. Chris Wojcik '96, The Frisbie Family Head Coach for Harvard Men's Lacrosse, was named to the All-Ivy first team that year after captaining the Crimson to a 12-3 overall record, a 5-1 mark in conference, and an appearance in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals.
Quarterbacking the Offense
Devin Dwyer turned in a team-best 47 points (12g, 35a) in 2014 despite missing the first four games of the season due to injury. Harvard averaged just 9.75 goals per game while going 2-2 without Dwyer in the lineup, but after his return the squad averaged 11.00 goals per game with an 8-5 record.
Dwyer's 35 assists on the year were the eighth most in program history, and he ranked seventh in the NCAA wth 2.69 assists per game. His 62 career assists, meanwhile, are four shy of the program's career top 10.
Finding the Back of the Net
Will Walker scored a team-leading 35 goals in 2014, the most for the Crimson since Jeff Cohen '12 tallied 48 in 2012. Walker became just the 18th player in Harvard history to score at least 30 goals in a season, tying him for 12th on the Crimson's single-season list.
Harvard's junior class accounted for 61 percent of the Crimson's offense in 2014 as sophomores. The group totaled 182 of the team's 298 points, led by Devin Dwyer (12g, 35a), Will Walker (35g, 4a), Deke Burns (18g, 6a) and Sean Mahon (10g, 8a).
Brian Fischer proved himself to be one of the top long stick midfielders in the nation in 2014, as evidenced by his lockdown performances against Cornell and Princeton. Fischer was responsible for marking the Big Red's Connor Buczek in Harvard's 14-9 win, and held the two-time All-American scoreless for the first time that year. Against the Tigers, Fischer defended four-time All-American Tom Schreiber and kept Schreiber, who entered the game with 199 career points, without a point for just the second time in his career.
Against the Odds
Harvard knocked off then-No. 2 Cornell on April 5, 2014, 14-9, marking the highest ranked opponent the Crimson has ever beaten. Harvard went 4-7 in 2014 against ranked foes, and boasts nine wins overall versus ranked opponents under Chris Wojcik '96, The Frisbie Family Head Coach for Harvard Men's Lacrosse.
Turning Defense into Offense
Harvard long poles scored 11 points in 2014, including six goals; Jack Breit (4g, 3a), Stephen Jahelka (1g, 2a) and Bobby Duvnjak (1g).
Breit has scored 12 career points (6g, 6a) as a long pole, ranking him 11th among active long poles in the NCAA.