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May 1, 2014

Men's Lacrosse Tournament Heads to Harvard Stadium This Weekend

Tournament Central | Live Stats
Complete Men's Lacrosse Tournament Notes in pdf format
ESPN3/WatchESPN Links: Penn-Cornell | Yale-Harvard | Championship Game
Game Notes: Yale | Penn | Cornell | Harvard 

ESPN's Eamon McAnaeny visits with the Ivy League Digital Network for Around the Ancient Eight

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- If the regular season was any indication, the 2014 Ivy League Men's Lacrosse Tournament will be an event to remember. 

Harvard and Cornell shared the regular season crown, giving the Crimson their first title in 24 years and the Big Red their record 28th League title. At the same time, the Ivy League is the ONLY conference in the country that will see each conference tournament participant enter the field with nine or more wins, making this weekend important in each team's NCAA Tournament resume.

Top-seed Harvard (9-5, 5-1 Ivy) entered this week with an RPI of 18. The Crimson won just their fourth-ever Ivy title this year and are hoping for a trip to the NCAA postseason for the first time since 2006. The Crimson have not lost at home this season. Peter Schwartz leads the team with 41 points on 21 goals and 20 assists. Devin Dwyer has 30 assists this season, including six in the win over Yale last Saturday that clinched the League title and No. 1 seed. 

Junior netminder Jake Gambitsky has nine games with 10 or more saves this season. 

Second-seeded Cornell (11-3, 5-1 Ivy) comes in with the fifth-best RPI. Cornell has a powerful offense that features four players with 20 or more goals, led by senior Dan Lintner with 43. Newly crowned Ivy League Player of the Year junior Connor Buczek is among those four, as well. 

But the Big Red have defense, too, led by freshman goalie Christian Knight. Knight, named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year this week, took over the starting job on March 8 and beat then-No. 2 Virginia in his first collegiate start. Since then, he has eight games in which he has recorded 10 or more saves, including a season-high 16 stops last Saturday against Princeton. In that win, Knight recorded six saves in holding the Tigers scoreless in the decisive fourth quarter. 

Third-seeded Penn (9-3, 4-2 Ivy) has the No. 3-rated RPI this week and is riding a six-game winning streak, third-longest in the nation. The Quakers do it with defense, led by senior netminder Brian Feeney. Feeney has played all but 58 seconds in goal this season for the Quakers, logging a 9.00 goals against average and a .552 save percentage. He also has eight games with 10 or more saves this season and enters the tournament with four straight games in double-figures. 

Sophomore Nick Doktor leads the Quakers in scoring with a 18 goals and 14 assists for 32 points. 

Fourth-seeded Yale (9-4, 3-3 Ivy) has the No. 14-rated RPI. The Bulldogs have won the last two Ivy League Men's Lacrosse Tournament titles. Conrad Oberbeck and Brandon Mangan provide a solid 1-2 punch offensively for the Bulldogs. Oberbeck, a junior, leads the way with 35 goals and 47 points. Mangan, a senior, has a team-best 21 assists to go along with 22 goals. 

The Bulldogs are solid defensively, as well. Junior Eric Natale has an 8.33 goals against average and a .524 save percentage.