March 20, 2010

Brown Town: No. 20 Bears Claw No. 14 Harvard

by Dan Hickling | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online | Game Blog

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Perhaps he saw some kind of green light.

It certainly was too bright out for an appearance of a full moon.

Something prompted Brown goaltender Matt Chriss to run the length of the field through the entire Harvard team and actually score a goal, only to have it waved off.

For, of all things, a crease violation.

However, that sort of thing is to be expected when the ancient Ivy League rivals hook up.

This one went Brown's way, 13-11, before 1,705 fans at Harvard Stadium.

It was the Ivy League opener for both teams and with Brown (3-1, 1-0) ranked No. 20 and the Crimson (4-2, 0-1) No. 14, the match held national implications, too.

"Not only is it Ivy League," said Brown sophomore attack Parker Brown, who scored twice, "but they're one of the top teams in the Nnation. This game was a big marker for us to see how we compare."

For large stretches of the first three quarters, there was no comparison.

Brown was easily the better team.

The Bears spotted their hosts an early goal by Dean Gibbons, then erupted for five tallies in the final 5:45 of the first quarter.

The first of those came just 21 seconds apart, after Collins Carey, then Andrew Feinberg found space behind Harvard starting netminder Christian Coates.

Feinberg's came with 5:24 to go, when he had a clear lane to whip in his 10 yarder.

After Rob Schlesinger made it 3-1, Parker Brown and Feinberg both scored in the final 16 seconds of the stanza.

"We got the first goal," said Harvard sophomore attackman Terry White (four goals), "and then we won some faceoffs. But we weren't capitalizing, and we softened up a little. We thought it was going to be easier than it really was."

Harvard regained some of its footing and drew to within 7-4 just before halftime, when Jeff Cohen's low bouncer made its way past Chriss.

In the third quarter, Brown took its largest lead, 11-6, and threatened to run the Crimson out of the stadium.

However, as the Bears tried to slow matters down, the Harvard attack heated up, and with 2:08 remaining the Crimson pulled to within 12-11 on Cohen's fourth goal of the game.

"The conundrum was obviously the fourth quarter," said Brown coach Lars Tiffany. "Should we keep pushing, or slow this thing down and kill some clock? I don't think we did a good job of that."

That's when Chriss decided to take matters into his own hands.

As the final minute approached, the junior netminder gathered the ball and bolted down field.

"It was spur of the moment," said Chriss. "The middle of the field was open, and I just went for it."

Both teams were shocked at the sight of Chriss sprinting toward the opposing goal.

"I'd like to tell you that was our plan," said Tiffany. "But Chriss was doing it by himself."

Chriss finished his run by lunging toward the goal, putting the ball into the net, but landing with his foot in the crease.

"When I took to the air," said Chriss, "I knew I probably was going to get called for it. I was hoping that the refs might call a push, or something like that."

Said Parker Brown, "You've got to love Matt. It starts with your goalie. If that had been called a goal, we would have been ecstatic. Maybe next time, he'll take a higher percentage shot."

Moments later Feinberg put the game away by squeezing in his fourth goal off the base of the left post.


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