Harvard Men’s Lacrosse Falls Just Short at No. 9 Albany, 10-9

McDonagh scored twice in the fourth quarter Wednesday night.

ALBANY, N.Y. – The Harvard men’s lacrosse team went to the wire with No. 9/10 Albany Wednesday night but came up just short, falling 10-9 to the Great Danes despite another fourth-quarter rally.

Harvard (5-5, 1-1 Ivy League) cut two separate three-goal deficits to just one in the fourth and held the ball coming out of a timeout with 18 seconds remaining after Matt Ryan forced a turnover at the other end. The Crimson was able to work the ball inside to Will Walker at the crease, but his attempt right before time expired was turned aside to preserve the one-goal victory for the Great Danes.

Walker, Joe Lang, and Sean McDonagh each scored two goals for Harvard as Devin Dwyer turned in two assists to extend his point-scoring streak to 43 games, the fourth-longest in the nation. Ian Ardrey (1g, 1a) also contributed a pair of points with Morgan Cheek and Sean Coleman scoring one goal apiece.

Robert Shaw made 14 saves in goal and was assisted in the defensive third by Matt Ryan who caused four turnovers and collected three ground balls. Bobby Duvnjak and Walker Kirby also caused two turnovers apiece.

Albany (6-2, 2-0 America East) was anchored by Blaze Riorden in goal who made 18 saves, including several from point-blank range. Seth Oakes (4g) and Justin Reh (3g, 1a) carried the offensive load as Zach Ornstein went 15-of-21 at the X.

Harvard is off this weekend and will return to action Saturday, April 9 at Cornell. Face off is scheduled for 3 p.m. live on the Ivy League Digital Network.

Wednesday’s contest was played at a dramatically different pace than last year’s 21-18 shootout as Cheek’s man-up goal with 7:07 to play in the first quarter tied the score at 1-1. Oakes struck twice within a 43-second span to put Albany in front, 3-1, and Reh made it a 4-1 game with 12:36 remaining in the second.

A pair of tremendous individual efforts by Coleman and Lang pulled Harvard within 4-3. Colemen’s came off a quick dodge to his left to free himself for a bounce shot from 12 yards out, while Lang needed two runs at the crease before getting his shoulders in front of his defender to beat Riordan high. The Great Danes countered, however, taking a 5-3 advantage with 1 second before the break.

It took more than seven minutes for the first score of the second half but that opened the gates as three more goals followed in the next 1:57 to put the score at 7-5. Albany tacked on one more before the third quarter horn sounded, taking an 8-5 margin into the fourth.

Strikes by Lang and McDonagh, both assisted by Dwyer, cut the deficit to 8-7 but Albany scored twice within a 9-second span to regain a three-goal edge, 10-7. Harvard did not go quietly, however, as both McDonagh and Walker tallied their second of the night to make it a 10-9 game with 1:51 to play.

Game Notes: Devin Dwyer registered two assists to extend his point-scoring streak to 43 games, the fourth-longest active streak in the nation … Devin Dwyer (28g, 22a) has a career-high 50 points on the season, becoming the first member of the Crimson to record 50 points since Jeff Cohen ’12 did so in 2012 with 56 (48g, 8a) … Morgan Cheek (1g) and Joe Lang (2g) extended their point-scoring streaks to 12 games and 11 games, respectively … Robert Shaw recorded 14 saves, his seventh game this season with at least 10 saves … Three of Harvard’s five losses this season have come by one goal.