On This Date in DHA History - April

As the nation's oldest University and the inventor of collegiate athletics, Harvard's athletics tradition and history is unrivaled. Here we celebrate pieces of that history with a look back at what happened on this date in Harvard Athletics.

April 1, 1905 - First College Soccer Match​

Harvard played in the first intercollegiate soccer match against Haverford at Soldiers Field. On May 6 of the same year, Harvard records its first victory, 2-1, over Columbia. Dr. Richard Gummere PhD '07, later the College's Dean of Admissions, is credited with organizing the sport on campus.

April 1, 1989 - NCAA Champions
The men's ice hockey team captured its first NCAA title with a 4-3 overtime victory over Minnesota. The team's catalyst was Lane MacDonald '89, who received the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey's best player.

April 6, 1896 - Olympic Gold
James B. Connolly '99 won the first gold medal of the modern Olympic games, capturing the hop, step, and jump in Athens to earn his place in history. Connolly was forced to resign from the College to make the trip, but was later honored in 1949 with an honorary Major H for his Olympic feats. By that time, he was a celebrated author of sea stories such as The Seiners and The Gloucestermen.

Other gold medalists at the 1896 Olympics included Ellery H. Clark '96 in the high jump and long jump, Thomas E. Burke '01 in the 100 and 400 meter dashes, William W. Hoyt '98 in the pole vault, John B. Paine '92 in the military pistol, and brother Sumner Paine '90 in free pistol. 

April 9, 1912 - First At Fenway
Harvard played in the first baseball game at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox, dropping the exhibition contest, 2-0. Four years later, Harvard defeated the Red Sox, 1-0.

April 12, 1877 - First Catcher's Mask
The first baseball catcher's mask was used when inventor Fred Thayer '78 took the concept of a fencing mask and adapted it for J. Alexander Tyng '76, Harvard's starting catcher. Tyng made only two errors in his first game with the mask, an exceptionally low number for even a professional in that era.

-- Your Team for Life --