The University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse program faces No. 12 nationally ranked Harvard for the 46th time in as many consecutive seasons with a Saturday, Feb. 21 contest at the Crimson's Soldiers Field Soccer & Lacrosse Stadium. If you can't make it to Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the 3 p.m. game you can use the following means to keep track of the game:
Scouting Harvard Men's Lacrosse
Harvard, the No. 12 team in the nation according to the USILA Coaches Top-20 Poll, begins its 2015 season with a Feb. 21 contest at Soldiers Field Soccer & Lacrosse Stadium in Cambridge, Mass., against the University of Massachusetts. The Crimson are coming off of a 10-7 finish to the 2014 campaign, when the squad reached the Ivy League Championship Game and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The squad returns three of its top four scorers from a season ago, including leading points producer Devin Dwyer (47 on 12 goals, 35 assists). Back alongside Dwyer are Will Walker (39 points on 35 goals, four assists) and Deke Burns (24-18-6) after the Crimson put up 298 points in 17 games last year, an average of 17.5 per game.
Jake Gambitsky served as the starting goalkeeper one season ago and helped the Crimson defense with a 9.87 goals-against average and .506 save percentage in nearly 1,009 minutes in the cage. Gambitsky played all but 12 minutes in goal last year and had 170 of the team's 174 stops and all 17 decisions.
Head coach Chris Wojcik, a 1996 graduate of Harvard, is in his fifth season leading the team and 10th as a member of the coaching staff overall as he was also an assistant with the Crimson from 2002-07. Wojcik is 32-29 overall as the head coach at Harvard with one win over the Minutemen in four chances, an 11-9 Crimson victory on March 29, 2011.
Last Meeting: #14 UMass 8, Harvard 4; Feb. 22, 2014
Spurred on by second-half offense and a stifling defensive performance, No. 14/15 Massachusetts defeated Harvard in the 2014 home-opener for the Minutemen, 8-4. Nick Mariano earned his second consecutive hat trick as the freshman led both sides with three goals against the Crimson.
Tied at the half, 3-3, after Harvard scored back-to-back to close the second quarter, the Minutemen tallied the next four goals to secure the win. Mariano had his second of the game to put the team in front for good, 4-3 with two minutes, nine second left in the third. Grant Consoletti added his second strike of the year on a feed from Vincent Travaglini with four ticks left on the scoreboard to push the lead to 5-3.
Andrew Sokol and Grant Whiteway notched goals five seconds apart from one another during the second minute of play in the fourth to push the lead to 7-3. Zach Oliveri made 14 saves for the win while the Minutemen caused 12 Harvard turnovers, led by two apiece from James Fahey, Dylan Gruder, Connor Mooney and Austin Spencer.
More from the Minutemen is available on UMassAthletics.com.