CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – John Tillman, the Frisbie Family Head Coach for Harvard Men’s Lacrosse, has announced the Crimson’s 2009 schedule featuring six home games and five matchups against teams ranked in the nation.
“Our players have been working very hard to get ready for the 2009 season,” Tillman said. “I have been impressed with the level of commitment they have shown towards each other and the program during the offseason. One of the goals of our program is to take on the best teams in the country. Our 2009 schedule is very demanding and our team will need to be ready every time we take the field.”
The 13-game home slate includes home matchups against Massachusetts, Hartford, Penn, Brown, Holy Cross and archrival Yale. The Crimson will play the latter four games at Harvard Stadium.
“Harvard Stadium is one of the premier collegiate lacrosse venues and we are excited to once again play there,” said Tillman, who is entering his second season at the helm.
In addition to the always competitive Ivy League schedule, the Crimson will play contests at Duke and Georgetown as well as a neutral game against Presbyterian in Atlanta, Ga.
“The Ivy League is a difficult league and there are no easy games,” he said. “Outside of the conference, we will be challenged by several New England schools as well as some of the most well respected programs in the country.”
Harvard, kicks off its season Feb. 22 with a trip to play the Blue Devils in Durham, N.C. The two teams met last season with Duke emerging victorious, 10-3, en route to an eventual appearance in the national semifinal.
The Crimson then heads north for a road contest at Stony Brook Feb. 28 before opening the month of March with three consecutive home games against Massachusetts (March 7), Hartford (March 13) and Penn (March 21). The Crimson will host the Quakers at Harvard Stadium, while the location of the matchups against the Minutemen and the Hawks has yet to be determined.
Harvard will return to the road for four straight games against some of the nation’s best teams. On March 25, the Crimson will meet Georgetown before facing Presbyterian two days later. Harvard starts April with two key Ivy contests, at defending Ivy League co-champion Cornell April 4, followed by a visit to Princeton April 11. Last season, the Crimson played the Big Red in the first lacrosse game at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.
Brown, also a 2008 Ivy co-champion, will travel to Cambridge to face Harvard for a Wednesday evening showdown at Harvard Stadium April 15. The Crimson then closes out the home portion of its schedule with dates against Holy Cross April 18 and Yale April 25. The regular-season finale is scheduled for May 2 at Dartmouth.
The Crimson is looking to improve on a 6-8 overall mark and 1-5 Ivy League record last spring. Harvard returns three All-Ivy players in Jason Duboe, Max Gottschall and Sam Slaughter as well as its top five scorers from a year ago. Gottschall, Slaughter, Max Motschwiller and Nick Smith will serve as captains for the upcoming season.
Harvard and the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference will also once again serve as co-hosts for the 2009 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championships, held at Gillette Stadium. May 23-25.