Harvard field hockey will play local rivals Northeastern and New Hampshire this week. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – No. 17 Harvard field hockey (2-2) continues non-conference play this weekend with games against local rivals Northeastern (3-2) and New Hampshire (3-2). Harvard will travel to Dedham Field to face the Huskies on Friday (Sept. 15) at 6 p.m., before returning home to take on UNH on Sunday (Sept. 17) at 1 p.m. on Berylson Field.
Harvard has played three straight ranked opponents (1-2), all close contests, with seven goals for and seven goals against combined in those games. The Crimson most recently hosted now-No. 1 UConn on Sunday afternoon, falling 3-1 to the Huskies, with junior Kathleen Young tallying the lone goal for Harvard.
The First Line
- Six different players have recorded a goal for Harvard, with four tied for the team lead with two goals (Pearce, Tarrant, Young, van Vlijmen).
- Harvard freshmen Hannah Pearce and Mimi Tarrant are off to quick starts for the Crimson. Pearce had a standout game against Pacific, recording two goals and an assist and adding a defensive save against the Tigers. Tarrant had a goal in Harvard's win at UC Davis and added a goal and an assist against Pacific.
- Reigning Longstreth/NFHCA Division I Second Team All-America selection Bente van Vlijmen has points in three of Harvard's first four games, notching goals against UC-Davis and Pacific, and recording an assist on Harvard's game-tying goal at Stanford.
- Senior goalkeeper Olivia Startup (UC Davis, Pacific) and junior goalkeeper Libby Manela (Stanford, UConn) have both started in net for the Crimson, with Startup earning two wins, and Manela putting up solid numbers (1.69 GAA, nine saves) in two games against ranked teams.
One of the top defensive teams in the nation last season, Harvard returns seven starters from its 2016 NCAA squad (12-6, 7-0 Ivy League), including junior goalkeeper Libby Manela, who finished the year 10-2 with a 1.42 GAA (14th NCAA). Senior Ellie Cookson returns as one of Harvard's top playmakers - she led the team and the Ivy League with 10 assists. Sophomore Bente van Vlijmen, the only freshman in the nation named a first or second team All-American, is Harvard's top returning goal-scorer.
As a team, the Huskies rank second in the CAA and 11th nationally scoring 3.40 goals/game through the first five games of the year. Junior June Curry-Lindahl leads the Husky scorers and has five goals in the first five games, which is fourth in the CAA and ranks ninth in the nation with 1.00 goals per game. Northeastern leads the all-time series 28-15, but Harvard has split the last four meetings, 2-2.
Scouting New Hampshire
New Hampshire returns 14 letterwinners, including eight starters, from last year's squad that finished 7-12 overall and 4-4 in America East. Katie Audino leads the Wildcats in goals (two) and points (six). Katie Audino leads the Wildcats in goals (three) and points (nine). Kelsey Rudert has a 3.05 GAA and .552 save percentage, starting all five games in net. UNH leads the all-time series 23-12-1, with Harvard seeking its first win against the Wildcats since 2007.
The Last Time Out
Taking on one of the top teams in the nation in its home opener, Harvard fell, 3-1, to No. 2 UConn on Sunday afternoon at Berylson Field. Harvard's Kathleen Young scored the lone goal for the Crimson. The Huskies took advantage of eight first half penalty corners, scoring all three goals off of corners late in the first half to take control of the contest.
On The Right Track
Tjerk van Herwaarden has guided the Crimson back onto the national scene since taking over the helm of the program six years ago. In addition to leading Harvard to the Ivy title and NCAA Tournament, the 12 wins in 2016 matched a program record. His 42 wins in the first five years of his career at Harvard is just one shy of the most ever by a Crimson field hockey coach.
Ivy League Network
The Ivy League Network returns for a fifth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Network or to sign-up today, click here, or download the Ivy League Network app!
Harvard will open Ivy League play next Saturday at Yale (Sept. 23, 1 p.m.) before returning home to face Lafayette on Sunday (Sept. 24, 2 p.m.) Both games will air on the Ivy League Network.