The Harvard men's lacrosse team will begin its 2016 season by welcoming Villanova to Jordan Field on Saturday, February 20th at 12 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the Ivy League Digital Network.
The Crimson enters the game ranked 17th in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA)/Nike Division I Coaches' Poll and 18th in the Cascade/Maverik Media Poll. The Wildcats, meanwhile, are listed as receiving votes in the coaches' poll, and are ranked 20th in the media poll. This will mark the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
What To Watch For
• The Crimson graduated just four student-athletes from its 2015 roster and returns 34 letterwinners to the field this year.
• Devin Dwyer enters Saturday's game boasting a 33-game point streak, the fifth-longest active streak in the country. He has totalled 118 points (38 goals and 80 assists) during the streak.
• The Crimson averaged 12.29 goals per game last season, representing the 10th-highest scoring offense in the country. Harvard's top 13 scorers all return to the team this year.
• Villanova is one of nine teams currently ranked or receiving votes in both the USILA/Nike Division I Coaches' Poll and the Cascade/Maverik Media Poll that the Crimson will face in 2016. Inside Lacrosse ranks Harvard's schedule the 12th toughest in the nation.
• Saturday's game marks the 17th time that Harvard has faced an opponent from the BIG EAST, with Harvard holding a 9-6-1 advantage over the conference. The contest will be the first ever between the Crimson and the Wildcats.
• Harvard boasts a 27-12 record at home, including a 4-1 mark in home openers, under head coach Chris Wojcik '96.
• Stephen Jahelka and Devin Dwyer were both selected in the 2016 Major League Lacrosse Draft. Jahelka was selected 14th overall by the Denver Outlaws, while Dwyer was taken 46th overall by the Florida Launch.
• Walker Kirby has been selected as one of 20 candidates for the 2016 Senior CLASS award.
Sharing the Wealth
Harvard returns four goal scorers with 20-plus goals last season (Deke Burns, 26; Ian Ardrey, 24; Joe Lang, 21; Devin Dwyer, 20) and has one additional attackman who finished right on their heels (Will Walker, 18). Previously under Chris Wojcik '96, the Crimson had never had more than two goal scorers with 20-plus goals in a season.
Can't Stop Him
Devin Dwyer has recorded at least one point in 40 of 41 career games, including each of the team's last 33 outings. The junior has totaled 118 points (38g, 80a) during his current streak, which ranks as the fifth-longest streak in the nation. Dwyer also ranks fourth in program history with 91 career helpers.
Last Season Dwyer led the Crimson with 49 points (20, 29a) while his 2.07 assists per game ranked 14th in the NCAA. Dwyer has led Harvard in scoring each of the last three years, totaling 43 points (16g, 27a) as a freshman, 47 points (12g, 35a) as a sophomore, and 49 points (20g, 29a) as a junior. No Crimson student-athlete has led the team in points all four years under Coach Wojcik.
Now Starting In Goal
Senior Bryan Moore went 6-6 in goal last season, posting an 11.48 goals against average and .541 save percentage, the 20th-best percentage in the nation. Moore appeared in 13 of 14 contests last season.
Moore, who also ranked 16th in the NCAA with 11.23 saves per game, made at least 10 saves in eight of 10 starts last year.
Stephen Jahelka, Devin Dwyer, and Joe Lang were each named Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-Americans. Jahelka was selected to the third team, while Dwyer and Lang each received honorable mention selections. For Dwyer, this marked the third-straight year he has received Preseason All-America recognition from IL while Jahelka and Lang earned the distinction for the first time.
Additionally, the Crimson had seven players named to the Preseason All-New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) teams. Both Jahelka and Dwyer were named to the first team. while Lang, Ian Ardrey, Bobby Duvnjak, Jack Breit, and Sean Mahon were recognized as members of the second team.
Senior CLASS Award
Walker Kirby has been selected as one of 20 candidates for the 2016 Senior CLASS Award.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. 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.
Stephen Jahelka and Devin Dwyer were selected in the 2016 Major League Lacrosse Draft. The duo became the seventh and eighth players, respectively, drafted from Harvard entering their senior years.
Jahelka was selected in the second round, 14th overall, by the Denver Outlaws, matching Kevin Vaughn '12, who was also taken 14th overall by the Outlaws, for the highest draft slot by a Harvard student-athlete. Dwyer was selected in the sixth round, 46th overall, by the Florida Launch. This marked the first time since 2012 that multiple members of the Crimson were drafted in the same class.
The duo joins former Harvard standouts Brian Fischer '15 (2015 draft 34th overall, Boston Cannons), Daniel Eipp '14 (2014 draft 32nd overall, Rochester Rattlers), Kevin Vaughn '12 (2012 draft 14th overall, Denver Outlaws), Daniel DiMaria '12 (2012 draft 41st overall, Charlotte Hounds), Jason Duboe '10 (2010 draft 33rd overall, Boston Cannons) and Henry Flood '07 (2007 draft 32nd overall, Washington Bayhawks) in the MLL ranks.
Welcome to Cambridge
Chris Wojcik '96, The Frisbie Family Head Coach for Harvard Men's Lacrosse has once again assembled one of the top recruiting classes in the nation with the addition of eight freshmen for the 2016 season. Harvard's Class of 2019 has been ranked as the 15th-best recruiting class by Inside Lacrosse and features five individuals ranked in the top 100.
Harvard has boasted a top-15 recruiting class each of the last seven years, including the third-ranked classes in 2011 and 2009, and the fourth-ranked class in 2012.
Associate head coach Ben DeLuca and assistant coaches Eric Wolf and Joe Nardella have joined the Harvard sideline this season.
DeLuca joins the staff after spending the previous two seasons as a defensive assistant at Duke, helping the Blue Devils to the 2014 national championship. DeLuca also played and coached at Cornell for a total of 18 years, including three seasons as head coach of the Big Red from 2011-13.
Wolf served the previous four seasons as the offensive coordinator at Albany which boasted the nation's highest-scoring offense each of the last three years. He also coached three Tewaaraton Award winners (Lyle Thompson in 2014 and 2015; Miles Thompson in 2014).
Nardella is starting his first season working outside the painted lines after graduating from Rutgers in 2015. Nardella was named All-America and the Big Ten Specialist of the Year after his senior season in which he ranked third in the nation in faceoff percentage.
Turning Defense into Offense
Harvard long sticks totaled 19 points (15g, 4a) last season; Matt Ryan (5g, 3a), Walker Kirby (4g), Jack Breit (3g), and Brian Fischer (3g, 1a).
Jack Breit is the Crimson's career scoring leader among poles with 14 points (8g, 6a).
Home Field Advantage
Harvard is 27-12 at home under Chris Wojcik '96, The Frisbie Family Head Coach for Harvard Men's Lacrosse, including a 5-2 record last season. The Crimson is 11-8 in Harvard Stadium with Wojcik at the helm, and boasts a 16-4 record at Jordan Field.
Five of six Crimson student-athletes named All-Ivy League at the conclusion of last season return to the field this year (Devin Dwyer, second team; Bryan Moore, second team; Ian Ardrey, honorable mention; Walker Kirby, honorable mention; and Joe Lang, honorable mention).
Brian Fischer, who graduated in 2015, was also tabbed second team All-Ivy League.