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Men's Lacrosse and No. 13/12 Princeton to Meet Friday Live on ESPNU

The Crimson can take a big step toward clinching a spot in the Ivy League Tournament with a win on Friday (OAC).

The Storyline
The Harvard men's lacrosse team will play in front of a national television audience on ESPNU Friday as it takes to the field at No. 13/12 Princeton. First face off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Fans can also follow the action via live stats through GoPrincetonTigers.com.

#BostonStrong
Harvard will commemorate all those affected by the tragedy at the Boston Marathon with a special helmet decal (pictured at right) which will be worn for the remainder of the season.

Where We Stand
Harvard and Princeton enter the weekend tied for third place in the Ivy League standings with a 2-2 record. Cornell remains atop the Ancient Eight with an unblemished 4-0 mark while Yale sits alone in second place at 3-2. These four teams will meet up on the finals day of play with the Crimson hosting the Bulldogs April 27 at 2 p.m. and the Tigers and Big Red doing battle at 4 p.m. at MetLife Stadium.

The top four teams in the league standings will make the 2013 Ivy League Tournament, set to be played May 3-5 on the campus of the No. 1 seed. Harvard can guarantee itself a spot in the tournament with wins over Princeton and Yale to close out the year, and can clinch on Friday with a win over the Tigers and a Brown loss to Cornell.  

Last Time Out
Murphy Vandervelde completed his hat trick 1:18 into overtime to propel the Harvard men's lacrosse team to an 8-7 victory over No. 16/14 Penn Saturday afternoon at Harvard Stadium.

Harvard, playing its third ranked opponent in three weeks, saw a three-goal lead slip away in the fourth quarter before a score by Ian Ardrey put the team back on top, 7-6. Penn was quick to respond, however, scoring the equalizer with just 55 seconds remaining to set up Vandervelde's heroics. The sophomore sent a straight shot over the right shoulder of Quaker goaltender Brian Feeney for the win, Harvard's first over a ranked opponent since defeating then 14th-ranked Penn 12-8 in the Ivy League semifinals in 2011.

Despite Penn holding a 13-18 advantage at the X and outshooting the Crimson 43-26, Harvard made the most of every opportunity to take the win. The Crimson went 2-of-3 on the man advantage while holding the Quakers, who entered the game with the best man-up offense in the country, to just 1-of-5 thanks in large part to Harry Krieger who came away with 12 saves and six ground balls.

Vandervelde's third career hat trick highlighted the day on the offensive end as her converted 3-of-5 shots. Carl Zimmerman scored two goals and added one assist for three points while Devin Dwyer tallied three assists. Alex White also turned in three points with one goal and two assists.

Scouting Princeton
Princeton, ranked 13th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and 12th the USILA Coaches' Poll, carries a 7-4 overall record and a 2-2 mark in the Ivy League into play on Friday. The Tigers boast the eighth-best scoring offense in the country at 12.18 goals per game led by Tom Schreiber who has notched 45 points on 23 goals and 22 assists. Mike MacDonald has posted 38 points with a team-leading 27 goals, while Jeff Froccaro has chipped in 36 points with 26 goals.

Matt O'Connor has started all 11 games in goal for the Tigers and owns a 7-4 record with a 9.43 goals against average and a .514 save percentage. Justin Murphy sports a .533 winning percentage at the X as the team's face off specialist, helping the team to a .509 win percentage for the year. Derick Raabe has paced the defensive unit with 53 ground balls and nine caused turnovers.

Inside the Series
Harvard trails the all-time series with Princeton, 22-56-1, despite taking two of the last three meetings. The Crimson won back-to-back games with the Tigers in 2010 and 2011, but Princeton rebounded last year to take a 12-5 victory at Harvard Stadium.

Up Next
Harvard will close out the regular season next Saturday, April 27 at Harvard Stadium on Senior Day against No. 15/12 Yale. Face off is scheduled for 2 p.m.

CLASS Act
Captain Jason Gonos was one of 10 NCAA lacrosse student-athletes selected as a finalist for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate men's lacrosse. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. 

Gonos has anchored Harvard's defensive unit for the last four years, but even more impressive than his play on the field has been his work within the community. In November, he organized the Crimson's involvement in Lacrosse Mustache Madness which raised $6,979 for the HEADstrong Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer. Gonos has also spent time working with Happy Helpers for the Homeless in his home state of Maryland, helping to feed and clothe the homeless in Glen Burnie, Md.

Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website or on the Senior CLASS Award Facebook fan page through May 13. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner.

Rank and File
Inside Lacrosse released its midseason ranking of the top 25 freshmen from around the country on Wednesday which featured Harvard's Devin Dwyer at No. 3. Penn State's T.J. Sanders is listed at No. 1 with Notre Dame's Matt Kavanagh coming in at No. 2.

Related Link: 2013 Inside Lacrosse Midseason Freshmen Rankings

Harvard in the Inside Lacrosse Freshmen Rankings
2013 – Devin Dwyer, No. 3*
2011 – Daniel Eipp, No. 25
2009 – Jeff Cohen, No. 7
2008 – Dean Gibbons, No. 22

* - Midseason Ranking

Rookie of the Week
Freshmen Devin Dwyer earned his second straight Ivy League Rookie of the Week honor on April 15 after posting nine points (2 g, 7a) in a 2-0 week for the Crimson. He began with a career-high six points against Quinnipiac on Tuesday, scoring two goals and dishing out four assists. Dwyer added three assists on Saturday as Harvard knocked off No. 16/14 Penn in overtime, 8-7.

Dwyer was also named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week on April 8 for his five-point performance against No. 2/2 Cornell. Dwyer found the back of the net twice against the Big Red, and handed out three assists.

Young Gun
Freshman Devin Dwyer currently leads the team and ranks fifth in the conference with 38 points. His 23 assists are also a team-high and are second best in the conference while his 15 goals rank second among the Crimson, 19th in the Ancient Eight.

Dwyer opened his career scoring in seven straight games, including a streak of five games in which he tallied multiple points, and has scored in 11 of Harvard's 12 contests this year. He is vying to become the first freshman to lead Harvard in scoring since Jeff Cohen '12 in 2009. Cohen tallied 41 points that season on 34 goals and seven assists.

Strength of Schedule
Harvard's 2013 schedule features eight opponents currently ranked in the top 25 of the NCAA's RPI; No. 6 Cornell, No. 7 Duke, No. 9 Penn, No. 11 Albany, No. 12 Yale, No. 19 Princeton, No. 21 UMass and No. 22 Hofstra. The Crimson, which is ranked No. 24 itself, is just 1-5 so far in these games but lost to Cornell, Duke and UMass by just two goals each.

Taking Advantage
Harvard leads the Ivy League with 22 goals on the man-advantage while converting on 45.8 percent of its opportunities, second best in the conference and seventh best in the NCAA. The Crimson has scored 16 man-up goals in its last five games, including four against Cornell and Quinnipiac.

Step Your Game Up
Sophomore Murphy Vandervelde, who had totaled zero goals in the first seven appearances of his career, has scored 13 goals over the team's last six outings and ranks fourth overall on the team. Vandervelde most recently recorded a hat trick against No. 16/14 Penn, with his third tally giving the Crimson an 8-7 overtime victory.

Overtime Upset
The Crimson earned an 8-7 overtime victory over No. 16/14 Penn on April 13, marking the team's first win over a ranked opponent since defeating then 14th-ranked Penn 12-8 in the Ivy League semifinals on May 6, 2011. The triumph was also the team's first in overtime since taking out Brown, 10-9, on March 17, 2012.

Player of the Week
Goalkeeper Harry Krieger has earned a pair of player of the week honors this season, most recently receiving the award from the Ivy League on March 25. The senior turned away 28 shots while allowing just 11 goals as the Crimson defeated both Bryant and Dartmouth, finishing the week with a .718 save percentage and a 5.50 goals against average. Krieger was also named the NEILA Player of the Week on March 11 after recording 12 saves in Harvard's 8-6 win over Georgetown.

Krieger enters the weekend ranked 26th in the NCAA with a 9.51 goals against average. His .556 save percentage is second in the Ivy League and 19th best overall while his 11.6 saves per game pace the conference and rank 19th nationally.

Getting Defensive
Freshmen Robert Duvnjak has started 10 games for the Crimson on defense and currently leads the team with 16 caused turnovers while ranking fifth with 20 ground balls. Duvnjak made his collegiate debut against UMass and registered four caused turnovers, then added four more as Harvard defeated Georgetown.

White Hot
Senior Alex White, who registered a hat trick in each of the Crimson's first two games, enters the weekend with a team-high 19 goals and ranked third overall on the squad with 26 points (19g, 7a) from the midfield. White entered the season with 31 career points (19g, 12a) after having played in 41 of Harvard's 42 games over the previous three seasons.

Facing Off
Senior Rick Molé had a career day at the face off X against Brown, winning 15-of-20 draws while collecting four ground balls. Molé, who entered the year having taken just 32 face offs in his career, boasts a .503 winning percentage at the X this season and ranks fourth in the Ivy League with 97 face offs won.

Staying Grounded
Junior Gabriel Mendola set a career-high with 10 ground balls at Brown. He is the first Crimson to recorded double-digit ground balls since Keegan Michel did so on April 10 of last season with 10 against Quinnipiac.

Sharing the Wealth
19 different members of the Crimson have combined to score 116 goals this season. Alex White leads the way with 19 tallies on the year, while Devin Dwyer and Peter Schwartz have added 15 goals apiece.

Streaking
The Crimson has collected two two-game win streaks this season, most recently defeating Quinnipiac and No. 16/14 Penn in back-to-back contests. Harvard last won three straight games in 2011 when it defeated Princeton, Yale and Penn to reach the Ivy League Tournament finals.

Home Field Advantage
Harvard is 15-8 at home under Chris Wojcik '96, The Frisbie Family Head Coach for Harvard Men's Lacrosse, including a 4-4 mark in 2013. The Crimson boasts a 7-6 mark in Harvard Stadium and an 8-2 record at Soldiers Field Lacrosse Stadium.

Hats Off

Name
Daniel Eipp
Ryan Stevens
Murphy Vandervelde
Alex White
Peter Schwartz
Devin Dwyer
Brendan Newman

2013 Hat Tricks
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3
2
2
1
1

Career Hat Tricks
6
4
3
3
2
1
1

In the Spotlight
The Crimson will play twice in front of a national television audience in 2013 beginning with its March 30 meeting with Duke. The game, which will be aired live on NBC Sports Network, will be played under the lights of Harvard Stadium at 7 p.m. The Crimson will also be featured on ESPNU when it takes the field at Princeton Friday, April 19 at 6 p.m.

Watch Live Online
Harvard has announced that for the first time ever, each of the Crimson's nine home games will be available either through live or on-demand streaming. Eight of the nine will streamed live through GoCrimson.com while the Crimson's nationally televised matchup with No. 13/14 Duke will be available for on-demand viewing shortly after its completion.

A full season pass can be purchased for $59.95 while single event subscriptions will be offered for $9.95. The full season pass will give fans access to each of the eight games streamed live as well as access to the on-demand archive for all nine home contests.

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