Harvard is 5-1 against non-conference competition this season (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
No. 20 Harvard takes on its second non-conference opponent of the week as it heads to the capitol of New York Saturday for a game against the Albany Great Danes. Harvard enters at 6-2 while Albany is 3-5. The game will mark the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
Saturday's matchup will be the first time Albany and Harvard meet on the lacrosse field. The Crimson is 21-3 all-time against current America East programs, including a 9-2 mark on the road.
The Great Danes (3-5, 0-1 America East) come into Saturday riding a four-game losing streak, most recently falling, 9-8, to Hartford in their America East Conference opener. Albany opened the season winning three of four before falling on recent hard times. The team is led in scoring by Joe Resetarits with 17 goals and seven assists, totaling 24 points on the year. Goalie Edmund Cathers has made 94 saves defending the net and holds a .556 save percentage. The Great Danes' main faceoff man is Keith Olson, who has gone 80-for-161 in faceoffs this season, a .497 winning percentage.
Last Time Out
Senior co-captain Dean Gibbons scored three goals, including the game-winner, to lead the 20th ranked Harvard men's lacrosse to an 11-9 win over No. 16 Massachusetts Tuesday. After falling behind, 8-4, in the second half, the Crimson scored five straight goals and seven of the last eight to take the victory. Junior Jeff Cohen also scored a hat trick while Terry White added two scores and Matt Hull, Daniel Elipp and Ryan Stevens all found the back of the net for Harvard. Hull had three assists on the night, including a feed to Gibbons with 2:28 left on the clock for the victory.
On the Sidelines
Chris Wojcik '96, the Frisbie Family Head Coach for Harvard Men's Lacrosse, owns a 6-2 record in his first season at the helm of the Crimson. Wojcik, who most recently served as an assistant coach at Penn, was an assistant for five seasons with the Crimson and was an All-American in lacrosse and All-Ivy selection in both lacrosse and soccer during his playing days at Harvard.
Harvard has been making its shots count this spring, leading the Ivy League in shots on goal with 28.62 per game and totaling 229, 41 more than the next team (Cornell, 188). Putting 74.1 percent of its shots on goal has helped the Crimson stay among the Ancient Eight's best-scoring teams with 95 total goals, second only to Cornell's 99.
Leading the Attack
Junior attackman Jeff Cohen has been running up the score this season, leading the Harvard offense with 21 goals in eight games. Cohen's 2.62 goals per game average is second in the Ivy League, and his 2.88 points per game are fifth-best. Cohen has scored in every single game this season, and has netted at least three goals in five of the last six contests.
The Crimson leads the Ivy League with 6.88 assists per game after totaling 55 helpers through its first eight contests. Senior co-captain Dean Gibbons leads all Harvard players so far, dishing 11 assists this season.
Scooping 'Em Up
Harvard has been pouncing on loose balls this season better than any team in the Ivy League, scooping up a league-leading 278 ground balls and topping the list with 34.75 per game.
It's Good To Be Home
Harvard has yet to lose a game in the friendly confines of either of its venues – Harvard Stadium, or its newest venue, the Soldiers Field Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium. The Crimson went 4-0 at Soldiers Field Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium this year with wins over Canisius, Georgetown, Bellarmine and Holy Cross. With a win over Massachusetts Tuesday, Harvard is also unblemished in Harvard Stadium. The remaining three home games this season will be played in Harvard Stadium, with the next opponent being Ivy League rival Cornell.
The Crimson returns home to Harvard Stadium for an Ivy League contest against Cornell to be televised by CBS College Sports at 2:15 p.m., Saturday, April 9.