As the tournament is right around the corner, the question of sleeper keeps coming up in the NCAA lacrosse community. Sleeper is a hard term to define in college lacrosse because only 16 teams make the tournament, so a sleeper is hard to find. There will however be sleepers down the final stretch of the season.
With their 11-9 victory over #19 UMass tonight, Harvard has now put their name in the sleeper category. In this case, by "sleeper" I mean the category of "hey, these guys are about to make a late season run."
Sitting at 6-2 on the season, with losses to Hofstra and Dartmouth, the Crimson still have Ivy rivals Cornell, Penn and Yale left on the schedule. Sitting at 1-1 in the Ivy League, it wont be surprising to see Harvard win two of those four aforementioned games.
Harvard is now getting scoring from many different players and positions. A very balanced unit, the Crimson have six players with 11 or more points. Jeff Cohen is averaging 2.57 points per game and is the finisher of the squad. His 21 goals put him tied for fourth in the nation in that category. Senior leader Dean Gibbons has 18 goals and 10 assists on the year, while drawing the opposing teams pole game in and game out.
The teams midfield unit (Terry White, Danielle Eipp and Alex White/Jack Doyle) have combined for 48 points.
In tonights game, goalie Harry Krieger made 19 saves and has been part of a defensive unit that is giving up 9.5 goals per game, down from last years 10.6 average.
As mentioned, Harvard does have a tough schedule remaining, but they have already matched last years win total and new coach Chris Wojcik has his team in prime position for a late run that could see them in the Ivy League Championship.
I put them at third in power rankings for the Ivy, sitting behind Cornell and UPenn. Yale will be the fourth team in the for the Ivy League playoffs.
This is all talk and speculation, but for the second year in a row, the Ivy League is more than a two horse race and that excites me.
For your enjoyment:
|GOALS PER GAME||GP||No.||Avg/G|
|ASSISTS PER GAME||GP||No.||Avg/G|