(Cambridge, MA) No. 6 Princeton (7-3, 3-0 Ivy League) dashed any hope of conference drama edging out No. 16 Harvard (5-4, 2-2 Ivy League) with a safe performance. Nine different Tigers found the back of the net. Evan Calvert led the Crimson with two goals and one assist.
The irony of the occasion was lost to the circus of Tigers and runoff from a town too bloated with holiday family traffic. Crimson imposed a steep state ivy tax banking on the draw of a higher, perennially ranked brother school. For the 2,211 fans who survived the parking and admission fees and the cattle call at the double-header intermission, the marquis event surprised some and disappointed others.
Fans of all ages were draped over the chain link fence trying to get a glimpse of the preeminent tiger pacing behind a six-foot wall of orange and black. First time on-lookers with more delicate sensibilities were strangely drawn to the man in charge. Call it out of a response aroused by fear or a reflex rooted in a deep respect whatever it was, Coach Tierney at times was more the focus of fans than his small army trying to invoke the spirit present in the battle against the Quakers.
Many of a great man had many of a great thing to say about the day. A novice nine feet deep of the Tiger line waited for a response from the man, “Tierney, why do you yell at your players like that?!” The unofficial answer from the handbook of six national championships would be, “Because…” While most parents and fans in Crimson country had a difficult time understanding the art of war, the man fully understood the weight of his words, “This is your game.” Princeton was up 5-4 in the second period and Coach Tierney’s mild-mannered approach was not the kind of approval sought by nearly two tons of trained machines.
The Princeton win secured sole possession of first place in the league. Harvard had plenty of opportunity to forge a potential two to three-way tie for first place (pending the results of the Cornell versus Dartmouth game). The Crimson were 10-20 at the face-off x and getting considerable time on possession demonstrating discipline of offense. Princeton out shot Harvard 36-32 and beat Crimson 27-22 on groundballs. The two goalies for Harvard combined for 12 saves. Both teams were nearly tied on turnovers and only Harvard was able to convert (on at least one) on EMO.
Harvard – Attack: Brooks Scholl, Evan Calvert, Greg Cohen; Midfield: John Henry Flood, P.J. Maglathlin, Peter Doyle; Defense: Nick La Fiura, Eric Posner, Tom Mikula; Goal: Evan O’Donnell.
Princeton – Attack: Scott Sowanick, Peter Trombino, Alex Haynie; Midfield: Whitney Hayes, Jim O’Brien, Mark Kovler; Defense – Dan Cocoziello, Ryan Schoenig, Zachary Jungers; Goal – Alex Hewit.
Harvard tied Princeton 4-4 in the first period with the Tigers out-shooting Crimson 11-10. Jim O’Brien was the first to strike for the Tigers. O’Brien worked a pick and roll off a 2-2-2 opting for the over hand bounce shot stick side pipe at 12:54 (1-0). Harvard responded with a pair of goals. Greg Cohen took it to the hole on the run and finished with a bouncer for his 16th goal of the season at 11:51 (1-1). Jake Samuelson gave Harvard the lead on transition going through traffic up the center and taking Hewit in the five-hole (2-1) at 8:48.
Harvard got the ensuing ball off the face-off x but lost possession. Princeton cashed in on three consecutive goals. Dan Cocoziello fired up the Tiger bench with a long pole equalizer off the clear going coast to coast for a low bouncer at 6:49 (2-2). Ten seconds later Peter Trombino notched his 14th goal of the season on a weak side lefty under hand shot that hit top left corner (3-2). Mark Kovler sounded the pipe with a lower left shot giving the Tigers a two-point edge.
Harvard controlled the ball at the face-off x and rounded out the first period scoring with a pair of goals from Flood and Calvert. Flood scored straight from the face-off going stick side over hand shot on open net (3-4). Harvard set up on a 1-4-1 with the ball starting at X. Cohen dished off to the wing and Calvert finished finding the bottom right of the net at 1:07 for his 15th goal of the season (4-4).
Princeton out scored and out shot Harvard 2-1 and 10-6 in the second period. Princeton was the first to lash out with a goal from Mac Bryson off an assist from Sowanick (5-4) at 13:16. The Tigers moved the defense across off a 1-3-2 skipping the pass for the bouncer stick side. Calvert scored his second goal of the game and tied it up for Harvard off the middie invert sinking a top shelf lefty side arm off an assist from Zach Widbin (5-5). Michael Wenzel drew the double and dumped off to Tripp Shriner shoulder high shot (6-5).
Princeton shut out Harvard in the third 2-0 off of seven to Harvard’s eight shots. Josh Lesko scored on transition after nearly 13 minutes where both teams could not convert on possession. Grant Hewit went inside out to the Lesko who shot lefty off the hip pipe (7-5). As the clock run out, tension on the Tiger sideline continued to mount mostly from the coaching staff’s frustration with the (in)ability of the field personnel to execute and some of the officiating calls. Coach Tierney called for ‘Cadillac’ with six seconds remaining with what looked like a middie invert on a 1-4-1 with the inside out pass to man on the crease. O’Brien found wide-open Hayes in front for an upper 90 shot (8-5).
Harvard won the last quarter 2-1 and tied Princeton for eight shots on goal. Cohen scored an EMO goal for Harvard off an assist from Calvert going lefty side arm top shelf (6-8). Alex Haynie scored his seventh goal of the season off an assist from Hayes. A wide-open Hayes had time to throw a fit of at least seven fakes before throwing in a low roller (6-9) at 3:12. As regulation time started to evaporate, game play became more sloppy and Princeton had a late lapse of judgment which translated into a Harvard goal with 12 seconds left. Zach Widbin took advantage of the defensive turnover in the center lane on the clear for an easy stick side bouncer (7-9).
Yale will host Harvard next Saturday at 14:00 while Princeton will host Cornell at 12:00 next Saturday.
Harvard vs. Princeton
|Whitney Hayes||(1, 1)|
|Jim O'brien||(1, 1)|
|Peter Trombino||(1, 0)|
|Grant Hewit||(0, 1)|
|Tripp Shriner||(1, 0)|
|Scott Sowanick||(0, 1)|
|Josh Lesko||(1, 0)|
|Mark Kovler||(1, 0)|
|Alex Haynie||(1, 0)|
|Dan Cocoziello||(1, 0)|
|Mac Bryson||(1, 0)|
|Michael Wenzel||(0, 1)|