CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Murphy Vandervelde completed his hat trick 1:18 into overtime to propel the Harvard men’s lacrosse team to an 8-7 victory over No. 16/14 Penn Saturday afternoon at Harvard Stadium.
Harvard, playing its third ranked opponent in three weeks, saw a three-goal lead slip away in the fourth quarter before a score by Ian Ardrey put the team back on top, 7-6. Penn was quick to respond, however, scoring the equalizer with just 55 seconds remaining to set up Vandervelde’s heroics. The sophomore sent a straight shot over the right shoulder of Quaker goaltender Brian Feeney for the win, Harvard’s first over a ranked opponent since defeating then 14th-ranked Penn 12-8 in the Ivy League semifinals in 2011.
The victory improves the Crimson to 6-6 overall and 2-2 in the Ivy League, and moves the squad into a tie with Princeton for third place in the conference standings. Cornell remains atop the standings with a 4-0 mark while Yale is in sole possession of second place at 3-2. Harvard will close out the regular season playing at Princeton next Friday, April 19 live on ESPNU and at home against Yale Saturday, April 27.
Despite Penn (6-4, 2-3 Ivy League) holding a 13-18 advantage at the X and outshooting the Crimson 43-26, Harvard made the most of every opportunity to take the win. The Crimson went 2-of-3 on the man advantage while holding the Quakers, who entered the game with the best man-up offense in the country, to just 1-of-5 thanks in large part to Harry Krieger who came away with 12 saves and six ground balls.
Krieger was aided in the defensive third by Robert Duvnjak who was credited with three caused turnovers and Joe Petrucci who cause two more and collected three ground balls. Brian Fischer, Rick Molé and John Rose each recorded two ground balls.
Vandervelde’s third career hat trick highlighted the day on the offensive end as her converted 3-of-5 shots. Carl Zimmerman scored two goals and added one assist for three points while Devin Dwyer tallied three assists. Alex White also turned in three points with one goal and two assists.
Zimmerman opened the scoring off a feed from White, but three strikes by Penn put the Quakers in the lead, 3-1. The Crimson duo hooked up again, this time with White scoring the goal, to put the score at 3-2 after the first.
Vandervelde evened the score at 3-3 with a rocket of a shot from the top of the box just 46 seconds into the second quarter. Zimmerman posted his second tally to regain the lead for Harvard, 4-3, and Vandervelde found the back of the net from nearly the same position as his earlier strike for a 5-3 margin. Both defenses tightened up over the final 8:32, sending the Crimson into the locker room with the two-goal advantage.
The teams remained scoreless 14:46 into the third until Jack Walker made it a three-goal game, 6-3, in Harvard’s favor. Penn came back with a pair of goals in the fourth to pull within one, 6-5, and Isaac Bock evened things back up at 6-6 with 4:43 remaining.
Photo courtesy Gil Talbot