Freshman Marissa Balleza earns her second Ivy League Rookie of the Week honor in 2013. (Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot)
Ivy League Release (IvyLeagueSports.com)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard field hockey forward Marissa Balleza has been honored as the Ivy League Rookie of the Week, the conference announced Tuesday afternoon. This marks the second time this season Balleza brings home League accolades after earning the same recognition on Oct. 29.
Balleza began the three-game week with the game-winning goal against crosstown adversary Northeastern in the Crimson's 1-0 victory to spoil the Huskies home finale. The goal came at an important time, with just four minutes remaining in a tight contest, to lift the Crimson to its sixth victory of the year.
On Saturday, the Severna Park, Md., native tallied another goal in Harvard's 4-2 loss to Dartmouth. The score tied things up at 2-2 heading into halftime, but the Crimson yielded two goals to the Big Green in the second half to drop the League game.
On Sunday, however, Balleza notched a pair of goals – the fourth game she has done so – to spark Harvard to its 4-0 win over Vermont on Senior Day. After her performance, Balleza sports an impressive nine-game point streak and leads the Crimson with 27 total points, coming off a team-best 12 goals and three assists.
As a freshman, Balleza also paces the Crimson with 59 total shots, 36 of which have come on target for a .610 shot on goal percentage. She has netted two game winners, including the one against Northeastern, and has connected on both of the squad's only two penalty strokes.
Balleza and the Crimson (7-9, 1-5 Ivy League) return to the field for the regular season finale against Columbia, slated for noon on Sunday in New York City.