Returning home for its third game this season at Jordan Field, Harvard men's lacrosse will welcome Hartford on Saturday, March 3 at 1 p.m. The bout will be broadcast on the Ivy League Network.
What to Watch For
• Morgan Cheek leads the Crimson with 13 points through three games, while Ryan Graff and Kyle Anderson are also in double figures with 12 and 11 points this season, respectively. Anderson holds the team lead with nine goals, and ranks in the top-20 nationally in goals per game (3.0). Cheek, meanwhile, ranks eighth in assists per game (3.0).
• Senior goalie Robert Shaw was one of the top netminders in the Ivy League a year ago, as he ranked second in save percentage at 52.6%, just 0.6% behind the Ivy lead. Through three games, Shaw boasts a 55.9% save percentage, which ranks 16th nationally, while making the seventh-most saves per game (12.67).
• Harvard has won seven consecutive battles with Hartford, but has not squared off with the Hawks since March 13, 2009, which ended in an 18-7 decision for Harvard.
Last Time Out
Led by four hat tricks and a blistering start, Harvard men's lacrosse earned its first victory of the season on the road, 16-11, over Massachusetts on Saturday afternoon at Garber Field.
Sophomores Ryan Graff and Kyle Anderson scored four goals each – a career high for both players – while seniors Morgan Cheek and Tim Edmonds tallied hat tricks of their own. The game marked the first time under Chris Wojcik, The Frisbie Family Head Coach for Harvard Men's Lacrosse, that four players have recorded a hat trick in the same game. Senior Robert Shaw eclipsed double-digit saves for the third time in three games, making 11 stops.
Senior Morgan Cheek enters the weekend on a 34-game point streak that dates back to April 17, 2015. The stretch is the ninth-longest in the country, and the second-longest among Ivy League student-athletes. Over the 34-game span, Cheek has recorded 147 points on 82 goals and 65 assists.
Four the Merrier
Harvard is one of three teams this season to have four players score a hat trick in the same game, as seniors Morgan Cheek and Tim Edmonds and sophomores Ryan Graff and Kyle Anderson tallied the feat in a 16-11 win over UMass. Army West Point also recorded four with a hat trick against UMass, while Delaware accomplished the mark against Monmouth.
Rookie of the Week
Following a productive game in his first-career outing, freshman Steven Cuccurullo was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week for Feb. 12-18
Cuccurullo sparked the Harvard offense by winning 13 of 17 face-offs in the Crimson's 10-9 season-opening win over UMass Lowell, which was Harvard's fourth-straight in a season debut. Cuccurullo also collected a game-high seven ground balls, which was four more than any other Crimson or River Hawks' student-athlete.
Now in Goal
Robert Shaw owns a 15-16 career record in goal, with three of his victories coming in overtime. The junior, who started every game a year ago, sports a .531 career save percentage while allowing 10.85 goals against. He made double-digit saves in 22 games and at least 15 saves in seven games over his career.
Sophomores Ryan Graff and Kyle Anderson are off to hot starts in 2018, with the duo combining for 23 points in games against UMass Lowell, Holy Cross and UMass. Graff is second on the team with 12 points, on eight goals and four helpers, while Anderson has a team-high nine goals and two assists.
In the Back of the Net
Senior Morgan Cheek led five players with double-digit goal tallies in 2017, scoring 37 goals with a team-best 67 points. Sophomore Ryan Graff placed second on the team a year ago with 20 goals, while senior Joe Lang beat the goalie 19 times while dishing 10 assists.
In total, Harvard returns an astounding 141 of 142 goals scored last year (99.3%).
Hartford is 1-2 in 2018 after earning its first win of the year against Fairfield on Tuesday. Hartford has also been dealt losses by St. John's and Bryant. The Hawks went 6-8 a year ago.
Griffin Feiner leads the team with 15 points on eight goals and seven assists, while Justin Huggins paces the squad with nine goals. Ryan Vanderford has two starts between the posts, where he has a .395 save percentage and 13.00 goals-against average.
Climbing the Ladder
Seniors Robert Shaw and Morgan Cheek have started their ascent through the Crimson record books, with Shaw entering the weekend just three saves away from ninth all-time at Harvard. Cheek ranks 12th in program history with 154 points, and is three points away from cracking the top-10.
NCAA Championships Host
The NCAA, Gillette Stadium and Harvard University announced that the 2018 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship will be played at Gillette Stadium, the home of the National Football League's New England Patriots and Major League Soccer's New England Revolution. The Division I, II and III Men's Lacrosse Championships will be played over Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28.
The agreement, which included Harvard hosting the 2017 event, marks the fourth and fifth times the championships will be held at Gillette Stadium, where the event has enjoyed a history of tremendous success. In 2008, Gillette Stadium set attendance records for the Division I final (48,970) and the Division II and III finals (24,317).
Harvard has teamed with the NCAA several times in recent years to host NCAA championship events. In addition to hosting the 2008, 2009, and 2012 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships, Harvard served as host for the 2006 women's basketball Final Four at the TD Bank Garden, the 2010 fencing championships at Gordon Indoor Track, and the 2013 women's water polo championships at Blodgett Pool.
Harvard travels to Providence for a 1 p.m. faceoff on Saturday, March 10. The game will be broadcast on Friars.com.