CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Currently on a three-game winning streak, the Harvard men's lacrosse team will return home on Saturday, March 17 at 1 p.m. to welcome Brown to Jordan Field in its first Ivy League showdown of the season. The game will be broadcast on the Ivy League Network and NESNplus.
What to Watch For
• Morgan Cheek leads the Crimson with 20 points through five games, while Ryan Graff and Kyle Anderson are also in double figures with 17 points each this season. Anderson holds the team lead with 14 goals, and ranks 16th nationally in goals per game (2.80). Cheek, meanwhile, ranks 10th in assists per game (2.60).
• Senior goalie Robert Shaw was one of the top netminders in the Ivy League a year ago, as he ranked second in save percentage at 52.6%, just 0.6% behind the Ivy lead. Through five games, Shaw boasts a 57.5% save percentage, which ranks 12th nationally, while making the fourth-most saves per game (13.00).
• Saturday's match-up is the Ivy League opener for both teams. Brown earned a win in Providence a year ago, 13-8, but the Crimson have won three of the past four in Cambridge, including a 13-12 triumph in 2016.
Last Time Out
Tallying its third victory in a row while remaining unbeaten on the road, Harvard men's lacrosse triumphed over Providence, 11-8, on Saturday, March 10 at the Friar Lacrosse Complex.
Senior Joe Lang led the offense with five points, while notching his first hat trick of the season with three goals, while classmate Carney Mahon and freshman Kyle Salvatore scored career-bests with two goals apiece. Senior Robert Shaw was tough to beat between the posts, making a season-high 14 saves.
Rookie of the Week
Freshman Steven Cuccurullo of the Harvard men's lacrosse team has added Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors to his resume twice this season, as announced by the league office on Feb. 19 and March 5.
Cuccurullo won 15 of 27 face-offs in a four-goal win over Hartford, 14-10, while tying a career-best with a game-high seven ground balls. The Smithtown, N.Y. native leads the Ivy League with 55 faceoff wins and a 53.9 percent mark from the X, which paces the league among players with a notable number of attempts. He also improved to fourth in the Ivy League with 4.20 ground balls per game.
Senior Morgan Cheek enters the weekend on a 36-game point streak that dates back to April 17, 2015. The stretch is the ninth-longest in the country, and the second-longest among Ivy League student-athletes. Over the 36-game span, Cheek has recorded 154 points on 85 goals and 69 assists.
Four the Merrier
Harvard is one of three teams this season to have four players score a hat trick in the same game, as seniors Morgan Cheek and Tim Edmonds and sophomores Ryan Graff and Kyle Anderson tallied the feat in a 16-11 win over UMass. Army West Point also recorded four with a hat trick against UMass, while Delaware accomplished the mark against Monmouth.
Lockdown on D
The Crimson limited Providence to eight goals last Saturday during the team's 11-8 victory, the fewest allowed this season. Robert Shaw made a season-high 14 saves, sustaining his streak of double-digit saves in every game this season.
The Harvard defense was a perfect 3-for-3 on the Friars extra-man opportunities and forced eight turnovers, while Providence failed half of its clears.
The Bears are 2-2 approaching the midway point of the regular season, and are one of two teams with a .500 record thus far in the Ivy League. Both of Brown's wins have come on the road, having defeated Stony Brook (18-11) and most recently Villanova (12-9).
Luke McCaleb leads the team with 14 points on nine goals and five assists, while juniors Michael Panepinto and Carson Song have also tallied nine goals and four helpers apiece.
Ted Ottens controls the faceoff circle for the Bears, posting a 46-for-83 record this season. In goal, Phil Goss boasts a .604 save percentage and 9.79 goals against average.
In the Back of the Net
Senior Morgan Cheek led five players with double-digit goal tallies in 2017, scoring 37 goals with a team-best 67 points. Sophomore Ryan Graff placed second on the team a year ago with 20 goals, while senior Joe Lang beat the goalie 19 times while dishing 10 assists.
In total, Harvard returns an astounding 141 of 142 goals scored last year (99.3%).
Climbing the Ladder
Seniors Robert Shaw and Morgan Cheek have started their ascent through the Crimson record books, with Shaw entering the weekend in ninth place with 402 saves at Harvard. Cheek, meanwhile, ranks 10th in program history with 161 points.
NCAA Championships Host
The NCAA, Gillette Stadium and Harvard University announced that the 2018 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship will be played at Gillette Stadium, the home of the National Football League's New England Patriots and Major League Soccer's New England Revolution. The Division I, II and III Men's Lacrosse Championships will be played over Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28.
The agreement, which included Harvard hosting the 2017 event, marks the fourth and fifth times the championships will be held at Gillette Stadium, where the event has enjoyed a history of tremendous success. In 2008, Gillette Stadium set attendance records for the Division I final (48,970) and the Division II and III finals (24,317).
Harvard has teamed with the NCAA several times in recent years to host NCAA championship events. In addition to hosting the 2008, 2009, and 2012 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships, Harvard served as host for the 2006 women's basketball Final Four at the TD Bank Garden, the 2010 fencing championships at Gordon Indoor Track, and the 2013 women's water polo championships at Blodgett Pool.
Harvard continues its three-game homestand with Boston University on Tuesday, March 20 at either Harvard Stadium or Jordan Field. The game will be broadcast on NESN and the Ivy League Network.