Dartmouth vs. Harvard
May 2, 2003
The Game Story:
HANOVER, N.H. - It wasn't as patriotic as the United States' "Miracle on Ice", but the Dartmouth men's lacrosse team pulled off one of the epic stories in school history by becoming the first Ivy League men's lacrosse team to go from last to first with Friday night's dramatic 5-4 win over Harvard before 2,100 raucous fans at Scully-Fahey Field --clinching Dartmouth's first Ivy League title since 1965.

The 11 wins are the most since 1948 and only the second time in school history that a men's lacrosse team reached that win total. The five Ivy wins also ties a school record, matching the 1965 teams 5-1 mark.

The win moves the Big Green into a first-place tie with Cornell (8-4, 5-1) as Ivy League champions. Dartmouth, now 11-2, 5-1 Ivy, must await the outcome of Saturday's Princeton-Brown game. If the Tigers (9-3, 4-1) win, the league's executive director will conduct a draw on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. to break the three-way tie for the conference's automatic bid. If Princeton loses, Cornell will win the automatic bid based on its 13-5 win over the Big Green earlier this season.

The NCAA will announce selections for the 16-team tournament on Sunday night at 8:00 p.m.

Prior to the game, Head coach Rick Sowell showed the team the video from the USA's thrilling 1980 gold medal hockey season where the American shocked the Russians and then had to defeat Finland for the gold medal. Sowell compared that 1980 season to his 2003 lacrosse team that shocked No. 2 Princeton last week and had to finish it off tonight against Harvard.

"I'm certainly thrilled to be a part of this," said head coach Rick Sowell. "It's a dream come true so please don't wake me up. We won the big game last week, but we had to finish it off. There's no guarantees with hard work, but its nice to see when it turns out like this."

Sophomore Ben Grinnell scored twice, including the eventual go-ahead goal, and freshman Brad Heritage potted a pair, while senior Casey Burlage added a pair of assists.

The Big Green took its first lead since the first period when Grinnell tallied his second goal of the contest off a pass from Burlage with 13:37 remaining in the game to put Dartmouth ahead, 4-3.

Heritage gave the Big Green a 5-3 lead when he broke in free from the right side and bounced a shot past Jake McKenna.

Harvard made the final moments tense when McBride notched his third goal of the contest with 1:23 remaining to make it a one-goal game, 5-4.

But that's all Harvard would get as the Big Green's defense limited the Crimson to just one shot attempt in the final minute.

In a fast moving first period that saw a combined seven shots, the Big Green struck first when Grinnell when he rifled a shot past Jake McKenna with 10:23 left in the first quarter.

The second quarter belonged to the Crimson, which scored three times. Harvard evened the game with 11:52 remaining when Mike McBride scooped up a rebound and fired a shot from five feet away.

McBride notched his second of the game with 7:24 left in the second quarter, but senior Scott Roslyn evened the scored 44 seconds later at 2-2.

The Crimson took the lead at 3-2 when Jeff Gotschall scored with 1:49 to go before the half.

The intensity picked up in the third quarter, and the Big Green finally notched the equalizer when freshman Brad Heritage picked up a loose ball and broke in uncontested with 4:09 remaining in the third.

In the nets, sophomore Andrew Goldstein was sensational, stopping 10 shots, while McKenna was credited with 13 saves.

"When I came here we had no idea where things would go," said Roslyn. "This is just unbelieveable. I don't know what to say. It's a dream come true."