Molly Stansik and the Crimson will host Cornell this weekend (photo Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After playing three consecutive non-conference foes, the Harvard field hockey team will play its first Ivy League opponent since Sept. 29 when Cornell makes the trip to Jordan Field Saturday. With a win, the Crimson would move into at least fourth place of the Ivy standings.
The Crimson (3-8, 1-2 Ivy League) has scored one goal in each of its last four contests. Harvard won the first of those games by shutting out Brown, 1-0, in Providence, R.I., before dropping its last three. Sophomore Noel Painter leads the team with 10 points (4 goals, 2 assists), while classmate Caitlin Rea (1 goal, 4 assists) and senior Emma Keller (2 goals, 1 assists) have produced six and five points, respectively. Senior Cynthia Tassopoulos has played the majority of minutes in the cage this season and has registered a 3-6 record along with two shutouts.
Last Time Out
Rachael Rosenfeld scored her second goal of the year to give the Harvard a chance to tie Bucknell in the second half, but the Bison ultimately finished off the Crimson, 3-1, at Jordan Field Oct. 7. Sydney Jenkins sent a bouncing ball into the circle from outside of the 25-yard line into the middle, where Rosenfeld stepped in front of Bucknell's goalie and tipped the pass past the approaching cage-minder to account for Harvard's only score of the afternoon. The Bison held advantages in shots, 19-13, and penalty corners, 12-6. Tassopoulos made seven saves in the cage for the Crimson.
Sharing the Points
Dating back to Sept. 24, the Crimson's last five goals have come from five different players with Noel Painter, Emma Keller, Elizabeth Jacobson, Kim Goh and Rachael Rosenfeld finding the back of the cage. Overall, nine Crimson players have scored a goal and 11 have tallied at least one point on the season.
Tassopoulos in the Rankings
Senior co-captain Cynthia Tassopoulos ranks among the nation's best in the three major statistical categories for goalies. Tassopoulos is ninth in save percentage (.776), 15th in saves per game (7.33) and 39th in goals against average (2.07). The Dallas, Texas native also ranks third on Harvard's all-time charts with 486 career saves.
The Big Red (5-6, 2-1 Ivy League) is currently riding a four-game winning streak, its longest run since 2010. Cornell topped Yale, 1-0 (OT), on Sept. 29 to start the streak and have since beat Siena (1-0), Colgate (3-2) and Georgetown (3-1). Junior Hannah Balleza, last week's Ivy League Player of the Week, leads the team in nearly all offensive categories including goals (8), assists (3), points (19), shots (29) and game-winning goals (2). In the Big Red's last two games, Balleza had a hand in five of the team's six goals with two goals and three assists. Junior Brittany Thompson is second on the team with four scores, while freshman Marisa Siergiej, the reigning Ivy Rookie of the Week, has three. Junior Carolyn Horner owns a 5-5 record in goal for Cornell and enters Saturday's matchup with a 1.87 goals against average and .822 save percentage, good for fourth best in the country.
The Crimson leads the all-time series against Cornell, 24-10. Harvard holds a 13-4-3 mark against the Big Red in Cambridge, although Cornell has won the last two matchups at Jordan Field. Last season, Harvard knocked off Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y., 3-1. Georgia McGillivray '12, Kim Goh and Noel Painter scored for the Crimson.
Harvard goes on a stretch of three consecutive road games with trips to Princeton (Oct. 20), Dartmouth (Oct. 27) and Vermont (Oct. 28). The Crimson concludes its 2012 slate by hosting Columbia Nov. 3