Harvard vs. Yale
April 28, 2007
The Game Story:
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Harvard's men's lacrosse team nearly overcame a six-goal fourth quarter deficit, but Michael Karwoski's late goal stood up as the game-winner as Yale held off the Crimson rally to take a 9-8 victory Saturday at Harvard Stadium.

Yale had built an 8-2 lead through 45 minutes on a four-point effort by attackman Tyler Casertano. But Harvard spun off four goals in the first nine-and-a-half minutes of the fourth quarter to close within two, and the Crimson came within one on Brian Mahler's fast break goal with 1:42 left in regulation. Harvard had an extra-man chance with 1:19 to play, and the Crimson fired three shots at the Yale cage in the last 21 seconds, but the Bulldog defense denied Harvard a good look in the closing seconds.

Yale (7-5 overall, 2-4 Ivy League) scored eight of its nine goals in the first and third quarters, while Harvard (4-7, 2-3 Ivy League) had all of its scoring come in the second and fourth periods. The Crimson finished with a 30-24 advantage in shots after outshooting the Bulldogs by a 19-3 margin in the final 15 minutes, while Harvard held a 32-24 edge in ground balls. Crimson midfielder John Henry Flood enjoyed a terrific day at the faceoff X as he won 15 of 20 starts.

Despite the final statistical advantages, Harvard was not able to overcome Yale's effectiveness on offense in the first quarter as the Bulldogs scored the first four goals of the game. Four different players struck in the first period, with Ben Fuchs giving the visitors a 4-0 lead with 2:41 left in the quarter.

Harvard took control of the second quarter as the Crimson had an 8-3 advantage in shots in the period. The Crimson finally got on the board with 10:24 left in the quarter on Greg Cohen's 14th goal of the season, and Harvard closed to within 4-2 on Brian Mahler's extra-man goal with 3:50 left before halftime.

Yale appeared to break the game open in the third quarter as the Bulldogs put four goals on the board and used a physical ride to allow just one Harvard clear in the period while outshooting the Crimson by a 9-1 margin. Casertano figured in all four Bulldog goals in the third quarter as he fed Brendan Gibson's 30th of the year with 6:34 left before cashing in himself just 20 seconds later to make it 6-2. Casertano got his second of the game with 3:58 left in in the third, and he fed Karwoski's first goal of the game with 1:52 remaining to put Yale on top by six, 8-2.

The Crimson was able to get back in it by scoring a pair of early goals as Cohen fed Evan Calvert with 11:51 left to make it 8-3, and Jason Duboe dodged and scored with 11:09 remaining to bring Harvard within four.

Cohen scored on a restart off a failed Bulldog clear with 6:43 to play to make it a three-goal game, and Flood won the ensuing faceoff to longstick middie Eric Posner, who fed Calvert's second of the day just nine seconds after Cohen's goal to make it 8-6.

Karwoski broke the momentum when his wraparound goal with 4:16 to play gave Yale a three-goal cushion, but Flood again won the faceoff, and freshman Travis Burr scored from 10 yards out to once again bring Harvard within two at 9-7 with 2:53 left.

The Bulldogs saw a turnover in their defensive zone prove costly as P.J. Maglathlin gained possession for Harvard and quickly found Mahler on the left side. Mahler made a move to the goal and ripped a 15-yard shot to the top right corner to make it 9-8 with 1:42 to play.

Flood again won the faceoff -- his seventh win of the fourth quarter - and the Crimson gained an extra-man situation when Yale was flagged for pushing with 1:19 to play. The Crimson was unable to get a shot on the 30-second man-up opportunity, however, and Harvard was forced to call a timeout with 40 seconds left.

Cohen's shot with 21 seconds left was wide left, but Mahler was in place for the ground ball. Mahler made a strong move to gain position in front of the crease, but his shot with seven seconds was denied by a Yale defenseman, and Brooks Scholl's bid from 15 yards was wide as well in the closing seconds.

Yale goalie George Carafides made 11 saves in the Bulldog cage, including four fourth-quarter stops, while Casertano led all scorers with his four-point afternoon. Gibson finished with a goal and two assists.

Harvard got three-point efforts from Mahler, Calvert and Cohen, who all finished with two goals and an assist. Sophomore goalie Joe Pike made five saves in the Crimson cage.

Harvard will complete its 2007 season next Saturday, as the Crimson takes on Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H.