Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
"Shall It Be the Usual Bet?"
March 14: at Brown; March 21: at Dartmouth; April 4: Cornell; April 11: Pennsylvania; April 17: at Princeton; April 25: Yale
Harvard owns four regular season Ivy League championships: 1964 (4-2, shared with Princeton); 1980 (5-1, shared with Cornell); 1990 (5-1, shared with Yale); and 2014 (5-1, shared with Cornell). The program has never -- in 59 years of Ivy competition -- won back-to-back regular season conference titles, going an average 17 years between regular season league crowns. In 2015, though, the Crimson are uniquely positioned to potentially accomplish a first for the program and stand atop college lacrosse's most brandy-infused league in consecutive seasons: With the Ivy expected to reflect dense competition without a clear-cut favorite, Harvard -- fresh off of an NCAA Tournament appearance and returning 70 percent of its starts from a season ago (including half of the team's top six point-generators and the core of the team's defense) -- has an excellent opportunity to build out the program's somewhat weak Ivy League tradition.
The rush toward an Ivy League regular season title won't be easy: The Crimson's league schedule is back-loaded, seeing Harvard face Cornell, Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale on consecutive weekends that provide little room for error. Getting off to a fast start against the Bears and Green should platform Harvard well to make its big four-game push, but getting through that gauntlet -- featuring the teams most capable of throwing shade in Harvard's direction -- is not without potential pain and struggle. There's a reason that winning back-to-back Ivy League titles is difficult, and the Crimson will experience that in a structured way this coming spring.
April 25: Yale
Since 2006, Yale has made two NCAA Tournament appearances (advancing to the quarterfinals once), earned two Ivy League Tournament championships, won the 2010 Ivy League regular season title, has participated in every single Ivy League Tournament, and holds an average LaxPower ranking of 21.1 over the last nine seasons (the team's average LaxPower ranking over the last five seasons is 15.6). Harvard, contrastingly, has made one NCAA Tournament appearance (and got carpet bombed by Notre Dame in the first round), won one regular season Ivy League crown, made just two Ivy League Tournament appearances, and holds an average LaxPower ranking of 22.3 over the last nine seasons (the team's average LaxPower ranking over the last five seasons is 21.8). Based on these facts, it would be reasonable to assume that the Bulldogs have had the best of the Crimson in their last 10 meetings, right?
Wrong, college boy. Here are the details:
|MEETING||HARVARD||YALE||LAXPOWER EXPECTED RESULT|
|05/02/2014 (at Harvard)||10||9||+/- 0|
|04/26/2014 (at Yale)||11||10||+1 (Yale)|
|04/27/2013 (at Harvard)||10||11||+2 (Yale)|
|04/28/2012 (at Yale)||8||10||+3 (Yale)|
|04/30/2011 (at Harvard)||9||5||+1 (Harvard)|
|05/01/2010 (at Yale)||8||9||+/- 0|
|04/25/2009 (at Harvard)||13||8||+7 (Harvard)|
|04/26/2008 (at Yale)||9||5||+1 (Harvard)|
|04/28/2007 (at Harvard)||8||9||+1 (Yale)|
|04/22/2006 (at Yale)||12||4||+1 (Yale)|
|RECORD (OVERALL)||6-4||4-6||3-5-2 (Harvard)|
The Crimson have arguably overplayed their dates against their archrival, getting the best of the Bulldogs in the last 10 meetings between the two schools. Yale has had a heightened ceiling compared to Harvard, but the Crimson have taken care of business against Yale in the series' recent history.