Friday, September 30, 2011

My ECAC Media Ballot

Edit - As Without a Peer just pointed out to me, Joel Malchuk of RPI graduated, but has an extra year of eligibility and thus will still be on the roster for this year. 
When the deadline for ECAC selections was coming up in early September, I was truly in the depths of confusion. It's hard enough to pick this league, but with wholesale changes going on, it seemed like the league would be even closer than last year. In the end, I came up with a quick system of how I was going to evaluate teams.
1. Amount of points returning last year - According to College Hockey, Inc., 18 of the 21 scorers in the NCAA last year were upperclassmen. While I didn't know that when I made this my first criterion, it reinforces the point- experience helps. Therefore, I looked at what teams had the most points returning from last season.
2. Who is back on the blue line - If there's anything an admirer of Ken Daneyko's style of play can tell you, it's that what good defensemen do doesn't always show up in the points statistics. Here I just looked at who was returning.
3. Goaltenders - A lot of the league is going to have new goaltenders, which are big question marks. The rest of the league has returning goaltenders. Some are good, some not so much. This is a pretty important part of the equation.
4. Status Trends Toward Quo - Meaning I try not to move teams too much from where they finished last year, unless they really deserve it. I probably broke this rule a lot more this year than last year though.
5. Gut Feeling - It's not all just numbers here. Sometimes when teams are close, you just have to go with your gut and always remember the mantra "You're probably going to be very wrong anyway, so why worry?"
What's Not Evaluated:
1. Incoming Freshmen - It's not that freshmen can't or don't have an impact. It's just that they are complete wildcards. Further, I don't know all the freshmen coming into the league equally, creating a huge artifact. So I just tend to ignore what freshmen are coming in.
A Note on My All-Conference Team: I tend to select players that did well statisically or stood out in my mind from the previous season. I also try to limit how many players from each team I pick. I also tweeted a 2nd team all-conference after my ballot went in. That's not something the media submits but I decided I would do it anyway.

With that, here was my media ballot for the 2011-12 ECAC Season. Full explanation is below the jump.
1. Union 2. Yale 3. Dartmouth 4. Cornell 5. Quinnipiac 6. Harvard 7. Princeton 8. Brown 9. RPI 10. St. Lawrence 11. Colgate 12. Clarkson
Preseason All-Conference Team: G: James Mello (Dartmouth); D: Danny Biega (Harvard) and Nick Bailen (RPI); F: Kelly Zajac (Union), Brian O'Neill (Yale) and Andrew Calof (Princeton)
Preseason All-Conference 2nd Team: G: Eric Hartzell (Quinnipiac); D: Connor Goggin (Dartmouth) and Braden Birch (Cornell); F: Andrew Miller (Yale), Greg Carey (St. Lawrence) and Jack Maclellan (Brown).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

ECAC Teleconference Day: Audio of Ted Donato

The ECAC Hockey season draws nearer and today the coaches and media gathered by phone for the annual teleconference. Also released today were the coaches' poll and the media poll. In the former, the Crimson were picked to finish in 7th place while the media voted for Harvard to be dead last. Yale took top billing in both of those polls. Danny Biega was named as a defenseman for both the coaches' and the media's preseason all-conference team. WHRB will present our media ballot selections sometime next week as part of our annual ECAC Hockey season preview.

We also have the audio of head coach Ted Donato's 10 minutes with the media. Hear what he had to say about the media's picks, some of the impact freshmen to watch, the goaltending situation, and his thoughts on last season.

League Release:
Coaches' Preseason All Conference Team
Coaches' Poll

Media Preseason All-Conferene Team and Media Poll

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chapple, Defense Get Redemption in Victory

by Scott Reed
WHRB Sports
My Opinion

Harvard's 24-7 win over Brown last Friday night was a redemption on many levels for the Crimson: its new quarterback, its defense, and the entire team felt the sting of prior failures, yet they were able to redeem themselves against the Bears, making the win especially sweet.

The most intruiging storyline heading into Friday's game was who would start at quarterback: the rumor that began to percolate across Cambridge as the week wore on was that senior starter Collier Winters would be out against the Bears. A crowd of 18,537 saw this confirmed when junior backup Colton Chapple ran out to take the first snap in Harvard Stadium. For those fans who followed Harvard's 2010 campaign, the sight of Chapple under center wasn't particularly welcome, as he struggled in three starts last year replacing both Winters and Andrew Hatch when they were out with injuries. Although Chapple led Harvard to wins in two of his three starts, he did not impress - he completed under 50% of his passes and threw more interceptions than touchdowns. The expectations for Chapple in 2011 were not high, with many hoping Winters would be able to take the vast majority of snaps under center. All of this had to be on Chapple's mind as he ran out to the huddle for the first play, but to his credit, he came through on a night when Harvard needed him to. The junior threw for 207 yards and two touchdowns, the second a 56-yard beauty to Adam Chrissis to put the game out of reach. After the game, Chapple reflected on the progress he has made: "Last year, as a sophomore, it was different...I didn't really know the offense like I know it now." This progress was evident Friday to all those in attendance, and Crimson fans feel a lot better about the quarterback situation whether or not Collier Winters can play next Saturday at Lafayette.

On the other side of the ball, the Harvard defense entered the game on its heels after being shredded by the Holy Cross passing attack the week before. Many had predicted a similar occurrence when Brown came to Cambridge led by 1st-team preseason all-Ivy quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero. Yet Newhall-Caballero was held in check, completing only 28 of 51 passes and throwing 2 interceptions, and Brown was held to a single touchdown. Granted, two Bear red-zone turnovers (including a fumble at the goal line) mean Brown could have easily hung more numbers on the scoreboard, but the Crimson defense stepped up and made plays when it mattered. Holding arguably the Ivy League's best passing attack to seven points was an excellent way for the maligned unit to redeem itself and is a good sign for the rest of the season, in a conference stacked with quarterback talent.

And of course, there was the opponent on Friday: the Crimson still felt the sting of the loss in Providence a year ago, when Brown won convincingly, 29-14. Harvard was able to exact some revenge this time around, and in doing so might have discovered something about itself: head coach Tim Murphy alluded to it after the game, saying, "Tonight we developed an identity...we're a tough, physical team." After an ugly loss a week ago, this was a win and a step in the right direction. For a player, a unit, and a team looking for redemption, that was enough.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Harvard-Brown on WHRB Now

The pregame has started, be sure to tune in for 7pm kickoff between Harvard and Brown. Scott Reed and Charlie Hobbs will be on the call!

Football: Ivy League Week 2 Preview

Editor's Note- Every week, we here at WHRB will take a look back at last week's results and this week's schedule. This week our weekly preview comes to you from our own Zak Kline, who through no fault of his own (and through a lot of fault of mine) cannot post on the blog yet. -BR

Ivy League Week 2
by Zak Kline

Friday, September 23, 2011

Brown (1-0) at Harvard (0-1)
Harvard opens its home schedule with a Friday night game. The Crimson are 4-0 under the lights since installing them in 2007. The Crimson’s season started with a sloppy 30-22 loss at Holy Cross last Saturday. The Brown Bears opened their 2011 season with a 21-20 win over Stony Brook. Stony Brook had a 55-yard FG attempt come up short in the last minute. Senior QB Kyle Newhall-Caballero hit on 22 of 37 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns. For his efforts, he won the weekly New England Football Writers’ Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Gold Helmet Award, which decision was in turn nominated for the WHRB Longest Combined Name of Award Giver and Recipient Award.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cornell (1-0) at Yale (1-0)
Yale started 2011 with a 37-27 win over Georgetown, as Patrick Witt threw for 280 yards and Mordecai Cargill ran for 92 yards on just 15 carries. Cornell also opened with a victory, beating Bucknell on the strength of 323 yards from QB Jeff Mathews and a stingy 1.8 yards/carry allowed on defense. But really, can anything be called a victory if you have to go home to Ithaca or New Haven afterwards?

Albany (0-2) at Columbia (0-1)
The Great Danes haven’t stopped anyone through two games, allowing almost 480 yards rushing and another 410 through the air. Sean Brackett, named to the All-Ivy first team last year, did not have his best day for the Lions against Fordham, completing fewer than 50% of his passes with two touchdowns and two picks. That line will probably improve this week.

Dartmouth (1-0) at Sacred Heart (0-2)
Sacred Heart’s offense has accumulated 13 points through two games. Their only touchdown came after a Marist muffed punt gave the Pioneers a red zone opportunity in Week 1. They’re not very good. Dartmouth, meanwhile, opened with a lopsided win over Colgate. All-Everything running back Nick Schwieger got his Ivy League MVP reelection campaign off to a good start, notching 175 yards on 8.8 per rush.

Bucknell (2-1) at Princeton (0-1)
The Bison get another crack at an Ivy opponent after being downed by Cornell. Bucknell’s most notable feature is that my computer’s spell-checker doesn’t recognize the word “Bucknell”. Princeton lost by twelve to Lehigh, letting Mountain Hawk QB Chris Lum throw for 384 yards and 4 TDs. The Tigers were able to grind out 180 yards rushing, which success they’ll need to duplicate if their secondary takes another day off.

Penn (0-1) at Villanova (0-3)
Villanova has long been mentioned as a possible football addition to the Big East, where most of the Wildcats’ other programs already play. The football Wildcats have been demonstrating they could be competitive in a “BCS Conference” by losing to Temple (by 35), Towson (by 21) and Monmouth (NJ) (by 11). The Quakers, meanwhile, started the year by getting slapped around by Lafayette, 37-12. Reigning co-Ivy first-team QB Billy Ragone had an awful day, finishing 8-for-23 with 91 yards and two interceptions. He will have to be better if Penn wants to beat Villanova for the first time in 100 years.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ivy League Power Rankings

What a wild opening week it was for the Ivy League, with unexpected stars willing their teams to wins and startling upsets rocking the preseason favorites. As always, predicting the season outlook for teams based on the first game requires an phD in extrapolation and good faith. I have a good feeling that the Quakers will not go 0-10. Conference play starts this week, and with more on the line, expect teams to adjust from their Week 1 performances and play with renewed intensity.

Penn (0-1, 0-0)
In a rather uncharacteristic fashion, the Quakers were blown away at home, allowing a mediocre Lafayette team to defile Franklin Field. Turnovers, special teams miscues, and penalties marked a sloppy showing where three different quarterbacks were used, and Penn failed to find the scoreboard the entire second half. With a visit to Villanova looming, Penn QB Billy Ragone will have to make plays for his team, and the vaunted defense that stonewalled the Ivy League last year needs to make a statement.

Dartmouth (1-0, 0-0)
As my favorite saying goes, “Nick Schwieger ran over Hanover.” The reigning Ivy League MVP showed no rust from the offseason with a monster, 175 yards and 2 touchdown performance. His defensive counterpart, Shawn Abuhoff, blocked a kick and QB Connor Kempe played a controlled, well-managed game for an easy victory. This is the year the Big Green loses its dark horse candidacy and join the Ivy League elite.

Brown (1-0, 0-0)
What a thrilling win over the Stony Brook and a triumphant return of QB Newhall-Caballero. As exemplified by his track record the last several years, at his best, Newhall-Caballero is the best QB in the Ivy League, and with the help of his go-to receiver Tounkara-Kone and Lundevall, he leads a imposing passing offense. With a confused Harvard secondary, expect this trio to have another big game. Moreover, perhaps Tounkara-Kone and Newhall-Caballero should open a law firm together.

Harvard (0-1, 0-0)
It’s hard to point the fingers toward a single player in last week’s uninspired loss to crosstown rival Holy Cross. Winters faced pressure all night and made some avoidable errors; the defense looked sluggish and the secondary had no answer to Ryan Taggert; the backfield could not find holes to get the running game established. There’s a lot of questions that Coach Tim Murphy will have to answer, but there is no question that Coach Murphy can get the team back on track: Harvard hasn’t lost consecutive games since 2006.

Yale (1-0, 0-0)
In an unexpected shootout, the Bulldogs had a dogfight with the Hoyas with Patrick Witt establishing his presence as a premier QB of the Ivy League. He threw for 280 yards and three touchdowns, only marred by a careless interception. What’s more impressive is the resurgence of Yale’s running game: Mordecai Cargill had 92 yards on just 16 carries for the day. Expect another inspiring performance by Witt as the Bulldogs takes on the Big Red.

Columbia (0-1, 0-0)
Sean Brackett once again produced a powerhouse performance for the Lions, accounting for all but 52 yards of Columbia’s offensive output. Even though they came out with the loss, it was the Lions defense that turned heads last Saturday, which held Fordham scoreless on two red zone possessions and created turnovers. If the Lions want to play with the big boys of the Ivy League, they have to move away from the one-dimensional play of Brackett and create plays designed for the talented but underutilized TB Garrett.

Cornell (1-0, 0-0)
Year 2 of Kent Austin’s reign at Cornell got off to an auspicious start as the Big Red toppled unbeaten Bucknell with surprising efficiency. Second year starter Jeff Matthews continued his development with a crisp showing on the air, with an 87 yard touchdown to Kurt Ondash and a 64 yarder to Shane Savage. The offense didn’t allow a single sack and the defense limited the usually consistent Bucknell offense with DL pressure and blanket coverage. Things are looking up!

Princeton (0-1, 0-0)
The Tigers fell behind early and quickly, trailing by 27-9 in the 4th quarter. Even with a string of great plays - KO Returned for TD by Sr. Ivan Charbonneau, recovered onside kick, 26 yard TD by Tommy Wornham – Princeton could not punch it home for the win. Regardless, there offense gained more than 400 yards and the defense kept it close enough to make the game exciting.

Till next week...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Crimson Sluggish, Mistake-Prone in Loss to Holy Cross

by Scott Reed
WHRB Sports
My Opinion

Well, this wasn't the start to the season many Crimson had hoped for and expected, as Harvard opened 2011 with a 30-22 loss at Holy Cross. The Crimson looked like it still had some kinks to work out, recording -3 on the turnover differential and looking lost at times on pass defense. All had started well for Harvard, and it look like it would be smooth sailing after the Crimson grabbed a 14-3 lead, scoring on its two opening drives of the season - but that would prove to be the high point, as Holy Cross scored 27 straight points.

Following their first drive of the second quarter, which gave them that eleven point advantage, Harvard looked like a different team, surrendering over 300 yards through the air and struggling to move the ball on offense with the same consistency.

Still, there were some positives to take away for Crimson fans. The run defense was solid, allowing only 3.1 yards per carry, and junior quarterback Collier Winters, despite making a couple of costly mistakes (the 97 yard interception returned for a touchdown was a back-breaker), passed for 265 yards and completed more than 50% of his passes. And most importantly, there's this to be proud of for Harvard: the Crimson weren't truly out of the game until Winters threw the final interception with 15 seconds left on the clock. This team could have easily folded after Holy Cross went ahead 30-14, capping that run of 27 unanswered points, yet they battled back after scoring a touchdown of their own and getting the ball at the end with a chance to tie.

And things might certainly improve: we should not put too much stock in a season opener (remember last year's 34-6 shellacking of the Crusaders and the subsequent loss at Brown?), especially one where the opponent is playing its third game of the season. Junior sensation Treavor Scales will almost certainly improve at running back - eventual Ivy co-player of the year Gino Gordon only had 62 yards rushing against Holy Cross last year, albeit on 11 carries. And the pass defense will have to get better.

Yet all of that does not mean Harvard should feel rosy inside. "It's not a league game," head coach Tim Murphy deadpanned when asked for a positive from yesterday's game. Indeed, the loss will not count in Ivy standings. But, the truth is that Harvard cannot compete for an Ivy League title if it plays like this - more talented teams will be coming down the road in the form of the Brown Bears, the Penn Quakers, and the Yale Bulldogs. And perhaps as little as can be taken from this opening game, a lot will be revealed this coming weekend when Harvard hosts Brown. The Bears should be better than Holy Cross and almost certainly have a better player under center in the form of Kyle Newhall-Caballero. Brown, and the rest of the Ivy League, will provide ample test to these Crimson. Let us hope that by the end of the year the game yesterday will be seen as nothing more than a bumpy start on the way to a successful season.

Scott Reed is the play-by-play commentator for Harvard football and mens' basketball.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ivy League Football Weekend Preview

It has been 42 long weeks, but the anticipation and excitement at WHRB couldn’t be higher as the 56th season of Ivy League Football begins this weekend. All teams will begin their schedules with nonconference matchups, hoping to get off to a quick start and build momentum before league play. There is an amazing slate of games to jumpstart the season, including four night games. Here is a quick look:

Georgetown at Yale, Noon

Undefeated Georgetown (2-0) comes knocking at the Yale Bowl in time for the 139th season of Yale Football. Bulldog QB Patrick Witt returns for his final season, commanding a much-improve offense with potent WRs Gio Christodoulou and Chris Smith. On the defense, Coach Tom Williams will be looking to unleash DB monster Geoff Dunham to pressure the Hoyas. However, Georgetown QB Isiah Kempf is no pushover, and comes off an emotional come-from-behind victory over Lafayette

Predictions: 32-21 Georgetown

Columbia at Fordham, 1 pm

The Lions visit Jack Coffey Field for the Liberty Cup, and Junior QB Sean Brackett is poised lead his team to victory. Brackett was a one-man offensive powerhouse for Columbia last year as he lead the team in rushing and passing, and this year will prove to be no different. However, tandem TBs Jr Nick Gerst and Sophomore Marcorus Garrett will bring a much-improved backfield to a team bereft of a backfield.

Predictions: 28-14 Columbia

Harvard at Holy Cross, 1 pm

Harvard begins its quest for the Ivy League title against the cross-town rivals Holy Cross Crusaders. QB Collier Winters is back from an injury-plagued season and with him are familiar faces: Trevor Scales, Chris Lorditch, Matt Brown, and Kyle Juszczyck. This is complemented by an all-star defense that includes Josue Ortiz and Matt Hanson. Look for a balanced offense to lead Harvard to an easy victory.

Predictions: 21-3 Harvard

Colgate at Dartmouth, 1:30 pm

WHRB’s perennial sleeper pick is once again ready to prove that the Ivy League is not a two-man show. Co-MVP RB Nick Schwieger comes off a 1,133 yard rushing season while Conner Kempe marches toward the Big Green record books in passing, already 6th in team history with 3,333 passing yards. This is the last chance for head coach Buddy Teevans to take his mature, experienced team to an Ivy League title

Prediction: 23-21 Dartmouth

Brown at Stony Brook, 6 pm

The Bears shocked the Ivy League with a gritty win over a sloppy Crimson team and managed to finish 2nd in the league last year. Monster of a man Kyle Newhall-Caballero returns after being sidelined after two games and will hope to re-establish his presence as a premier QB in the Ivy League. WR Alex Tounkara-Kone and Jimmy Saros will be potent weapons enough for Brown to squeeze out a victory.

Predictions: 14-7 Brown

Bucknell at Cornell, 6 pm

Coach Kent Austin will start his second year with an anticipated homecoming game against BUcknell at Schoellkopf Field. Although picked to finish 7th, the Big Red returns 22 starters to gain bragging rights at the annual Battle of the ‘Nells. At the focal point of this team is Jeff Matthews, who was a true freshman QB who started all games for Cornell en route to an Ivy League Rookie of the Year award.

Predictions: 32-12 Bucknell

Lafayette at Penn, 6 pm

There is no doubting that Penn sits alone at the top of the Ivy League rankings after two straight titles. Its defense is unmatched in the nation, and the team owns the longest active winning streak in the nation (FCS). One concern is the offensive line, which only returns 1 starter, although all five earned All-Ivy last year. No doubt, the Quakers will again be the team to beat in the Ivy League.

Prediction: 32-7 Penn

Lehigh at Princeton, 6 pm

Senior LB Steven Cody and DL Caraun Reid will be returning from injuries that limited them for 9 games last year to bring much-needed leadership for the Tigers. QB Tommy Wornham, a very capable signal caller, also returns since week 5 of last season to hopefully bring stability and production. Alas, Lehigh has scored more than 40 points in each of its game this year…

Prediction: 42-14 Lehigh

Let's play some football!

Harvard Football Opens Season Saturday at Holy Cross

Harvard Crimson (0-0) at Holy Cross Crusaders (1-1, 1-0 Patriot League)

When: Saturday, September 17th at 1:00 PM (Pregame begins at 12:30 PM)
Where: Fittin Field, Worcester, Massachusetts
Coverage: Live on 95.3 FM WHRB in the Greater Boston area, and streaming worldwide at

In a series that dates back to 1904 , Harvard travels to Worcester, Massachusetts to take on a traditional cross-state foe Holy Cross. Harvard has historically had the edge over the Crusaders, leading the all-time series 39-23-2. However, recent years have been virtual standoff: neither team has managed to notch a road victory since 2005.

If the Crimson hope to break the trend, they can look back to their performance in 2010 for a set of guidelines. Last year, Harvard managed to stifle quarterback Ryan Taggert, holding the Holy Cross starter to 54 yards and an interception before he was pulled from the game. Offensively, meanwhile, the Crimson struck repeatedly through the air, as second-string quarterback Andrew Hatch (a transfer from LSU) went 20-25 for 276 yards and 3 TD's. Efforts to compensate for the loss of Gino Gordon, last year's Ivy League co-player of the year, will also be a key for the Crimson going forward: in 2010 alone, Gordon accounted for 1059 yards of rushing offense and 10 touchdowns.

WHRB's pregame coverage begins at 12:30 PM, with the Harvard Radio Pregame Show. Kickoff is at 1:00 PM, with Scott Reed and Charlie Hobbs live from Worcester, Massachusetts.

Monday, September 12, 2011

All is Calm as Murphy Begins 18th Season at Harvard

by Scott Reed
WHRB Sports
My Opinion

It's the third week of September, and for the 18th time, Tim Murphy prepares the Harvard Crimson for a season. It is a coach, and a team, outside the national spotlight, yet is a story of sustained success and integrity that merits much more hoopla than it receives. Murphy's Crimson have finished with seven or more wins in each of the last 10 years, playing an Ivy League-mandated ten game schedule, two games shorter than most college programs - and this has been sustained at one of the most academically demanding institutions in the country.

And as Harvard enters the 2011 season, the football program is at ease - this is especially impressive in this era of win-at-all-cost expectations and a need for instant and yearly success. Consider this Harvard's "Era of Good Feelings", a program experiencing peace, harmony and prosperity - shall we christen this time "Pax Harvardiana?" Success has been consistent, and rivals have been kept at bay, with Murphy winning 9 of the last 10 over the Yale Bulldogs. Although the pesky Penn Quakers are the defending Ivy champions, Harvard has given them fights and looks again to do so this year.

This has been largely because of Murphy, who, with his next eight wins will pass Joe Restic as Harvard's all-time wins leader. Yet Murphy does not simply rest on his laurels or expect that success will find him an his team: in an interview with WHRB, he spoke of the 2011 team: "I think we have a chance to be a good good we are going to be is a work in progress." He spoke glowingly of his players, praising especially his quarterback, senior Collier Winters: "We're a good team when he [Winters] is on the field." Yet even less than astute observers have seen that Harvard has been good when Murphy is on the sideline.

To be sure, the Crimson program is blessed with natural recruiting advantages not bestowed upon Ivy rivals: unrivaled need-based financial aid capabilities in a league where athletic scholarships are non-existant, a location across the river from Boston, and, perhaps most importantly, is part of a larger institution that possesses the most alluring name in higher education.

Yet, many Harvard athletic programs have not flourished the way the football program has, and even the football program has seen this type of sustained success only rarely. What is more, Yale and Princeton, two programs with similar advantages to Harvard, have had difficult times of the last 5 years. Murphy, though, year after year, has produced success. And if the last ten years are any indication, Harvard will continue to experience relative peace and prosperity through 2011.

Scott Reed is the play-by-play commentator for Harvard football and mens' basketball.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fall Fiesta Hits All the Right Notes, Harvard Men's Soccer Wins 1-0

Kudos and a job well done to Harvard Athletics on their second annual Fall Fiesta soccer game, a game where the hosts defeated Northeastern 1-0 (more on that later). Unlike last year, I was in the stands, rather than the broadcast booth, for this game, and Harvard did a great job of generating student turnout for this game. Between innovative prizes (free laundry for a year) and the promise of free Crimson Cash, t-shirts, and drawstring bags, as well as free Coke products, there was plenty to get students to come out, and stay, for the game.

The Hills Were Alive
The best feature of Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium may be its location. Sitting in the stands gives you an imposing look at Harvard Stadium, and during night games, some of the Boston skyline is also visible. But the second best feature, and the most notable tonight, are the hills behind both goals. Sort of like the old European-style terraces, the hills encourage standing and are a natural congregating spot for Harvard undergrads (particularly behind the opposition's goal in any given half.) It was from there that most of the chants originated: the standard "Let's Go Harvard," the "I Believe That We Will Win" that started at Lavietes Pavillion, the "Ole, Ole" of futbol, and even an "It's All Your Fault" transplanted from the ice of the Bright Center. Sure, one minor criticism was that the chants tended to stay on the hill, but that's because the stands were mostly the province of the freshmen, who didn't know any better. Still, the stands got more into it as the game went on, and soon every goal scoring opportunity from the Crimson was met with Harvard fans rising to their feet.

Harvard Fan Comment of the Night
"Give him a Grammy!" - guy in my section after a perceived flop by a Northeastern player. Right idea, wrong awards show.

Oh yeah, the game
On top of the atmosphere, the game on the pitch lived up to the billing. Harvard seems more comfortable in the second year of Coach Junot's system and really pressed Northeastern from the get-go. That said, Harvard lacked the clinical touch in the final third for much of the game, and the best opportunity was actually the Huskies: a diving header in the box that was turned away by star senior keeper Austin Harms. Finally, though, the Crimson benefited from a set piece and in the 83', Brian Rodgers had the ball fall to him off a corner and he slotted it in to the lower left corner of the net.

More, More
Besides the creation of the Crimson rewards program that benefits attending select games, Harvard has really done a great job in encouraging student turnout. The night football games have been such a hit that Harvard is now adding a second to the schedule. Thanks in part to their winning ways, basketball has been one of the hardest tickets to get on campus. And this year, many of the men's and women's soccer games will be played under the lights of Soldier's Field. That said, Harvard should push to have more "big events" like the Fall Fiesta. For example, a "Winter Festival" with either basketball or hockey the weekend students return for the second semester, taking advantage of the relative lack of classes and work for students during "shopping period", much as the Fall Fiesta does, as well as the continuation of the "Spring Carnival" that centers around lacrosse. Again, though, a job well done to Harvard Athletics for getting more students to events. It's a positive trend to see so many budding sports fans don their school colors.