March 6, 2010

Men's Lacrosse Edged By #15 Harvard, 9-7

WORCESTER, Mass. - Senior Chris Smirti (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) scored three goals and senior goalie Connor Sweeney (South Salem, N.Y.) made a career-best 14 saves, but the Crusaders just fell short as the Holy Cross men's lacrosse team fell to No. 15 Harvard, 9-7, on Saturday in non-conference action in the first regular season game played at the new Holy Cross Field. With the loss, the Crusaders fall to 0-4 overall, while the Crimson improve to 2-1 overall.

"It was a fantastic day to open the new field," said Holy Cross head coach Adam Pascal. "And to open the field by playing a two-goal game with a top 15 nationally ranked team was great. Our team fought hard today and did not back down. We played much more controlled defensively and did very well on face-offs. The team got better as the game went on. We are looking forward to the trip to Dartmouth on Tuesday." 

Freshman John Hannan (Manhasset, N.Y.) netted his first collegiate goal and also added an assist for two points, while sophomore Colin McGeehin (Newtown Square, Pa.) also had two points with two assists. Seniors Kenny Minor (South Hadley, Mass.), Mike Nagle (Timonium, Md.) and Edison Parzanese (Edgartown, Mass.) each posted one goal, while freshman James Kennedy (Summit, N.J.) had an assist. Junior Douglas Broussard (Floral Park, N.Y.) led all players as he picked up five ground balls. The Crusaders were solid on face-offs winning 11 of 20 as freshman Tim Pond (Port Washington, N.Y.) won six of nine face-offs and sophomore A.J. Guarente (Gaithersburg, Md.) won five of 11.  

Harvard was led by Dean Gibbons who recorded four goals and one assist for five points and Jeff Cohen who had two goals and one assist for three points.

After the Crimson took an early 1-0 lead, the Crusaders responded with four straight goals to move out to a 4-1 advantage. Nagle tied the game at 1-1 with a goal off a pass by Kennedy, while Smirti gave Holy Cross a 2-1 lead when he found the back of the net off an assist from McGeehin. Hannan's first collegiate goal made it a 3-1 contest and then Hannan assisted on Parzanese's man-up goal to increase the lead to 4-1 with 7:03 to go in the first quarter. Harvard then scored six unanswered goals with two in the first and four in the second quarter, including a goal by Gibbons with just one second left in the second quarter to take a 7-4 lead to halftime.

Smirti scored the first two goals of the third quarter to cut the Harvard lead to 7-6. He scored off McGeehin's second assist of the game and then he scored unassisted for his third goal of the contest. The Crimson extended their lead to 9-6 with two consecutive goals including one by Gibbons with just three seconds remaining in the third quarter. The only goal of the fourth quarter was scored by Minor with 11:20 left for the 9-7 final score.  

Harry Krieger stopped seven shots to earn his first collegiate victory. Harvard outshot Holy Cross, 35-25, while the Crusaders went 1-2 on man-up opportunities and the Crimson went 2-4. Harvard picked up 29 ground balls and Holy Cross had 25.

The Crusaders return to action when they travel to Hanover, N.H., to play Dartmouth at Scully-Fahey Field on Tuesday, March 9 at 3:00 p.m.