April 23, 2011

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Harvard Tops Princeton, Remains in Ivy Hunt

from press release

PRINCETON, N.J. – Dean Gibbons scored three times and assisted on three other tallies, while goalie Harry Krieger recorded 15 saves, as the Harvard men's lacrosse team earned a 9-8 comeback victory at Princeton Saturday afternoon. With the win, Harvard improves to 2-3 in Ivy League play and remains in contention for a spot in the Ivy League Tournament May 6-8.

Matt Hull also added a hat trick for the Crimson, which sees its record move to 8-5 overall, marking the second time in three seasons Harvard has won at least eight games. Princeton sees its overall record fall to 4-7, and drops to 2-3 in conference action. The Crimson has now defeated the Tigers in two straight seasons for the first time since taking three straight against its Ancient Eight rival from 1986-88.

Harvard will close out its regular season by hosting Yale at Harvard Stadium Saturday, April 30 at 1 p.m. The Crimson's seven seniors (Noor Beckwith, Francis Ellis, Dean Gibbons, Greg Gilroy, Matt Hull, Andrew Parchman and Sam Steyer) will be honored in a pre-game ceremony on Senior Day. If the Crimson defeats the Bulldogs, Harvard will automatically clinch a spot in the Ivy League tournament and could still qualify for the Ivy postseason with a loss with help in other conference contests.

Despite Princeton outshooting Harvard, 45-30, the Crimson won 12-of-21 faceoffs, led by Gabriel Mendola who claimed six faceoff victories out of nine attempts. Each team collected 32 ground balls, with Harvard's Joe Petrucci picking up a game-high six ground balls. Princeton's Tyler Fiorito stopped 16 shots against the Crimson, while Alex Capretta led the Tigers with three goals.

After falling behind to the Tigers, 3-0, Gibbons notched the Crimson's first goal of the day, firing a shot past Fiorito at the 3:56 mark of the first quarter. Harvard narrowed the deficit to 3-2 when Mark Scalise sent a pass to Hull who tallied a goal on Harvard's next possession with 2:54 left in the opening stanza.

In the second, Gibbons knotted the game, 3-3, with his second goal, coming at 13:26. Jeff Cohen gave Harvard a 4-3 edge when he took a pass from Ryan Stevens and found the back of the net with 6:43 left in the first half. The Crimson extended its run to 5-0 when Terry White found Hull for his second goal at the 5:31 mark. With time winding down in the half, Gibbons made a quick pass to Hull who scored with just 1.4 seconds left, giving him his third goal of the day and Harvard a 6-3 lead heading into the break.

Harvard closed the half with a 6-0 run and owned a 16-8 advantage in shots on goal, despite the shots overall being even at 18-18. Fiorito had 10 saves at halftime for the Tigers, while Krieger made five stops in the first 30 minutes.

The Tigers ended Harvard's goal run with a tally by Chris McBride at 11:03 of the third quarter, as Princeton got within two, 6-4. The Crimson answered with scores by Jack Doyle at 10:22 and Kevin Vaughan at 7:49, as Harvard took a commanding 8-4 lead. Gibbons assisted on both tallies, as Harvard continued to control play.

After Princeton's Luke Armour made it 8-5 with a tally at 5:38, the Tigers managed another goal by Mike Grossman to get within two scores, 8-6, with 2:15 left in the frame.

Midway through the fourth, Gibbons tallied his third goal of the game, pushing Harvard's lead to 9-6 with 7:47 to go in regulation. The Tigers won the ensuing faceoff and quickly scored to stay within two goals, 9-7, with 6:50 remaining. Armour netted another goal for Princeton with 4:13 to play, as the Tigers cut Harvard's lead to one, 9-8.

With 59 seconds remaining, Krieger made a save on a shot by Princeton's Tyler Moni, and Harvard was able to grab possession and successfully clear the ball, as the Crimson held on for the victory.

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