The Harvard field hockey team looks to lock up a winning record as it closes the 2011 season at Columbia. The Crimson and Lions meet Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the Columbia Field Hockey Venue.
Going Out Winners
Harvard (8-8, 3-3 Ivy League) can finish with a winning record both overall and in Ivy play by beating the Lions. A win would give the Crimson its best overall record since it went 11-7 and reached the NCAA tournament in 2004 and its best Ivy mark since going 4-3 in 2007.
The Crimson trails Dartmouth and Columbia (8-8, 4-2), the two teams tied for third in the Ivy League standings, by a game and could draw even with a win. The Lions are a game back of league-leading Yale and Princeton and need a victory to remain in contention.
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Live statistics from the game are available here.
Last Time Out
Harvard came back from three different one-goal deficits, but No. 10 New Hampshire's Whitney Frates scored 95 seconds into overtime to defeat the Crimson, 4-3, Sunday on Senior Day at Jordan Field. On a sunny afternoon celebrating the careers of senior co-captains Carly Dickson and Georgia McGillivray, Dickson scored a goal and McGillivray played her usual solid defense. They were aided by two goals from Catriona McDonald, 14 saves by Cynthia Tassopoulos and three defensive saves by Carly McNeill. Molly Stansik also had a defensive save.
Harvard leads the nation in save percentage at .828, while Cynthia Tassopoulos ranks second individually with her .813 save percentage and fifth with 9.25 saves per game. She's also getting help from her defense. Carly McNeill ranks 13th nationally with five defensive saves, and the team ranks 15th with eight.
Noel Painter leads Harvard with 20 points and eight goals. She is tied for fourth in the Ancient Eight with four goals and seventh with nine points in Ivy League play. Senior co-captains Carly Dickson and Georgia McGillivray rank second and third, respectively, in scoring for the Crimson. Dickson has 10 points on three goals and four assists, while McGillivray has logged nine points on three goals and three helpers. Dickson, Painter and Caitlin Rea share the team assists lead with four apiece.
The Crimson leads the all-time series against Columbia, 10-4. Harvard won each of the teams' first 10 meetings, but the Lions have closed each of the last four campaigns by defeating the Crimson. Last season, Columbia scored three times in the first half and survived a strong second period by Harvard to win, 3-1.
Scouting the Lions
Columbia has lost its last two games, totaling just one goal, after winning four straight, including a key, 4-2 win against Dartmouth in league play. Gabby Kozlowski has been the Lions' go-to scorer with 10 goals and 21 points, while Leti Freaney (four goals, three assists) and Paige Simmons (three goals, five assists) are tied for second on the squad with 11 points each. Christie O'Hara owns a 2.25 goals-against average and .779 save percentage in the Columbia cage.