Harvard led the entire game despite the seesawing of momentum that took place throughout. Harvard was pumped up and talking the entire time while UPenn players looked as if they conceded the game from the start; their bench was quiet and players walked off the field with their heads down. It was odd because the score was so close throughout the game, but the Quakers looked like they were going through the motions while Harvard was focused. Even stranger was the atmosphere on the Crimson sidelines. It was an element of intense focus, but everyone had a smile on their face at the same time, and they were thoroughly enjoying the entire game. The true leader of this seemed to be assistant coach Josh Bradstreet, who talked the entire game barking out encouragement, but more importantly, useful instruction.
Lawson Devries had his first of three in the first quarter to open the games scoring for Harvard on a nifty face-dodge along the goal line to get off a left handed shot. Scott Solow tied it up when he picked up a loose ball in front of the cage and threw it past Harvard goalie Keith Cynar. The Crimson scored the next two on shots by Matt Primm and Devries to go up 3-1 before Penn stormed back to tie it up at 3-3. First Mike Kehoe danced through three before unleashing one and then Adam Solow drew two defenders to dump to Kevin Cadin who ripped an underhand shot that stayed low. With 2:15 to go in the first the Quakers were called for being offsides and it cost them when Jeff Watson cranked a side-arm shot that found the short side to put Harvard up 4-3. Less than five seconds later Devries got his on a fast break off the face-off. Harvard's Adam Mcgowan dominated on face-offs despite the slight edge of 17-14. When he won he won big and created many opportunities.
The second quarter started with a long defensive stand by UPenn. They thwarted attack after attack and when they finally cleared the ball Alex Kopicki ran straight down the field for the Quakers and took the defenseman's worst nightmare, a weak shot that was turned right back the other way. Kopicki started a trend as both teams took turns taking kamikaze runs at the goal with more hope than design. At 8:02 of the second Harvard received a penalty and UPenn had the chance to come within one. After dinging one off the pipe, they did convert when Todd Minerly finished a series of quick passes that found him one on one with Cynar. Harvard scored the next two to put themslves up 7-4 and if it wasn't for more than a couple stellar saves by UPenn goalie John Carroll it could have been worse. With 7 secs. in the half Mike Iannacone gave the Quakers hope when he ran from his right to his left and put one back against the flow to sneak it behind Cynar. 7-5 in favor of Harvard at the end of the half.
Harvard came out saying all the right things and backing them up with their play. "Domino effect" to indicate that they were going on a role and "pile it on now" were some of the comments. "They're tired, let's bury them now,"Coach Bradstreet called out. The boys listened and asside from a lucky goal by UPenn in the middle, they reeled off three goals in the third quarter. One of those goals was very special though. Let's listen to the player that created the magic with three seconds to go in the third. Harvards Roger Buttles fed Jeff Watson for the goal. Buttles said,"the clock was comin' down so I figured I would just get the ball from up top and work it down low and try to create; see what opened up. They doubled and it was very tight in there, but I just saw Watty out of the corner of my eye and it was awkward to throw it normal so I threw it behind my back and it worked out nice." It was nice enough to give the Crimson a 10-6 lead when "Watty" finished the play with a quick stick as the quarter ended.
UPenn had a late surge, but the defining goal came with the score narrowing on Harvard as their lead was cut to one, 13-12. Longstick middie, Pete Zaremba converted another unsettled situation off the face-off to put his team up by two. Harvard never looked back and Matt Primm sealed it with his fourth on the day to end it 15-12.
Upenn looked surprisingly indifferent as they lost to their Ivy League compatriots. Don't take anything away from Harvard though, they have a good team. They have great talent and good speed, but their size will seperate them from the contenders this year. UPenn looked like a team that was out-coached today as Harvard more prepared mentally and physically.
Pennsylvania vs. Harvard