Trio leads No. 14 Harvard to victory over UMass men’s lacrosse

By Jason Kates

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(Erica Lowenkron/Daily Collegian)

In the week leading up to the Massachusetts men’s lacrosse game against No. 14 Harvard, Minutemen coach Greg Cannella acknowledged the difficulties that would come with slowing down the Crimson trio of senior Devin Dwyer and sophomores Joe Lang and Morgan Cheek.

On Saturday afternoon, it was evident why.

Dwyer, Lang and Cheek combined for eight goals and seven assists, leading Harvard (3-0) to a come-from-behind 10-9 victory over UMass (1-2) in overtime at Garber Field.

The senior attacker tallied five goals, including the game-winner 10 seconds into extra time, while Cheek recorded five helpers in the victory.

The number of seniors (15) the Crimson have on their roster, including Dwyer, was something Cannella felt made a difference in today’s contest.

“Their seniors did really well, Devin (Dwyer) who’s an outstanding player was five and two on the game and had the game-winner,” Cannella said. “(It’s) a good group, (Lang) and (Cheek) are sophomores too, so they’ll be a handful in the next two years.”

He later added: “Good athletes, great with the ball in their stick. Obviously Cheek dishing out those assists was real important for them, Dwyer goes the other way he’s usually their assist guy. It’s a tough group to handle, but I thought our guys did well.”

While the Minutemen held a 7-3 lead early in the second half, Dwyer began to take over, scoring Harvard’s next three goals to cut it to 8-6 with five minutes, 41 seconds left in the third quarter. After senior Ian Ardrey found the back of the net to make it 9-7 less than five minutes into the final quarter, the Crimson completed the comeback thanks to Cheek’s only goal of the day and Lang’s second to tie it at nine.

Senior close defenseman Kyle Karaska felt UMass got complacent in during that fourth quarter comeback, and said the team knew what guys like Dwyer and Cheek brought to the game.

“They’re good guys and a great group. We’ve played against them before, I’ve played against Devin a couple times,” Karaska said. “We knew what they had, knew their skills and strengths and we just didn’t buckle down, we just got beat today. It sucks being on that end of it.”

Carr continues to perform

One bright spot in the loss to Harvard was the continued success of sophomore midfielder Buddy Carr, who scored a hat trick to boost his total to seven goals in three games.

Carr, who scored four goals in the upset over Ohio State a week ago, has already surpassed his total from last year (6).

“It feels good, it’s a nice feeling,” Carr said. “I just gotta credit my teammates there, they set me up a couple times today and it was a good all-around team effort.”

Cannella said it’s great to see this level of productivity early from his sophomore, especially over the last two contests.

“You want that out of your attack, I think all of our attack men scored today,” Cannella said. “We had a couple opportunities for the other guys, Pete (Lindley) who I thought that last shot was gonna go at the end, I thought it was an awesome job of composure by our guys at the end of the game to get a shot off in that situation.”

Cannella added: “Buddy played well again, so hopefully he can continue to do that and be consistent.”

Jason Kates can be reached at [email protected] and followed @JKates1216.