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Men’s Lacrosse Drops Heartbreaker to No. 6 Cornell, 13-12

Ryan Stevens scored four goals for Harvard against the sixth-ranked Big Red (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Ryan Stevens tallied a career-high four goals, and Harry Krieger recorded 14 saves, but the Harvard men's lacrosse team fell to No. 6 Cornell by a score of 13-12 before 2,742 fans at Harvard Stadium Saturday afternoon. Kevin Vaughan added a hat trick and five ground balls for the Crimson, while Dean Gibbons handed out three assists.

Harvard, which falls to 6-4 overall and 1-2 in the Ivy League, outscored the Big Red, 9-8 in the second half after trailing 5-3 at the break. The Big Red sees its record improve to 8-2 overall and 4-0 in the Ancient Eight.

Cornell led, 2-0, after the first quarter, outshooting the Crimson 19-7, including a 7-3 margin on net, in the opening frame. In the second, Cornell extended its advantage to 4-0 until Vaughan got the Crimson on the scoreboard with an unassisted tally at 12:13. Less than two minutes later, Peter Schwartz sent a pass to Stevens who cut the deficit to two, 4-2. Vaughan netted his second goal at 6:12, pulling Harvard back within two scores, 5-3.

Early on in the third, Stevens found the back of the net at 12:43, getting the Crimson within a single goal, 5-4. Only 48 seconds later, Daniel Eipp tallied an unassisted goal, knotting the game 5-5. Vaughan scored for the third time at 7:20, tying the game at 6, as the Crimson netted six of the last eight goals to that point.

Dean Gibbons assisted on Steven's third goal at 6:45, which gave Harvard its first lead of the afternoon, 7-6. With 4:17 left in the third, Jack Doyle put Harvard up by two and then Stevens followed with his fourth goal at 4:07, which made it a 9-6 game in favor of the Crimson.

The Big Red tallied the next three goals to tie it up early in the fourth on a score by Steve Mock at 13:07. Matt Hull put Harvard back on top, 10-9, as he accepted a pass from Gibbons right in front of the goal and fired it home at 10:49. Only 55 seconds later, Alex White scored unassisted to give Harvard a two-goal edge, 11-9. The Crimson's lead was short-lived, however, as Rob Pannell knotted the contest, 11-11, at 8:26.

With 5:03 remaining, Gibbons dished out his third assist of the day, as he found Hull for a score, giving Harvard a 12-11 lead. The Big Red answered with a score by David Lau with 4:20 left and then Lau scored again with just 1:18 remaining to put Cornell back on top, 13-12.

Following Cornell's go-ahead goal, Stevens grabbed a ground ball of the ensuing faceoff, giving Harvard possession. The Crimson held possession until 40 second remaining when an errant pass from Terry White was grabbed by Cornell's Max Feely. Cornell remained in control of the ball for the remainder of regulation, preserving the win.  

Cornell outshot Harvard, 48-35, while the Crimson controlled ground balls, 37-25. Daniel DiMaria led Harvard with six ground balls, while Gabriel Mendola had three ground balls and won 10-of-17 faceoffs. Andrew West, who replaced A.J. Fiore in net for Cornell in the third quarter, stopped three shots, while Fiore recorded eight saves.

Harvard was 2-of-4 on man-up opportunities and cleared the ball successfully 15-of-20 attempts.

The Crimson will close out its non-conference schedule at Quinnipiac Tuesday, April 12 at 4 p.m.