No. 6 Harvard Travels to No. 3 Wake Forest for Top-10 Showdown Saturday Evening
Pictured: Sophomore Jamie Rees has two goals this
Photo courtesy: DSPics.com.
After improving to 6-0 for the seventh time in program history with a 1-0 win at New Hampshire Wednesday, the sixth-ranked Harvard men’s soccer team will face its second ranked opponent of the season, No. 3 Wake Forest, in a road game Saturday evening. The Crimson seeks to remain one of five teams in the country with a perfect record this season.
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Once again, live statistics will be available for all Harvard home games and most road contests this season.
In its 1-0 victory over the Wildcats, goalkeeper Austin Harms stopped three UNH shots to record his third shutout of the season. Brian Rogers scored the game’s only goal at the 59:59 mark, after he kicked a rebound into the back of the net. Adam Rousmaniere was credited with an assist on the goal.
The Crimson and Demon Deacons have never met on the soccer field, but Harvard is 8-14-4 against schools from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
A Crimson victory Saturday evening would mark the program’s best start since 1970, when the team started the year 12-0.
Entering the week, Andre Akpan, who has amassed a team-best six goals, four assists and 16 points, ranked second in the nation with 3.20 points per game and 1.20 goals per contest. Brian Rogers ranks second on the Crimson with four goals and three assists for 11 points, while Desmond Mitchell (two goals, two assists) and Jamie Rees (two goals) are third and fourth, respectively.
Austin Harms owns a perfect 6-0 record between the pipes with three shutouts, a 0.35 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage. He has surrendered only two goals in six games.
Harvard, which owns a 3-0 record on the road, has outscored opponents, 16-2, including 7-1 in road contests. The Crimson has mustered 25 more shots than opponents, 104-79, and has earned 33 corner kicks, eight more than its opposition.
About Wake Forest:
The Demon Deacons (4-1-1) earned a 2-1 win at home against Elon Wednesday, as Austin da Luz and Corben Bone provided the offense with a goal apiece. Sean Randolph paces Wake Forest with two goals, but da Luz has handed out four assists to lead the team with six points. Seven different players have found the back of the net for the Demon Deacons this season, including four players who have struck game-winning goals.
In the cage, Akira Fitzgerald has one blank sheet to his credit and owns a 4-1-1 overall record. He has a 0.80 goals-against average and has stopped 28 of 33 shots for a save percentage of .848.
With its perfect 6-0 start, the Crimson appears at No. 6 in the Soccer America national poll, No. 8 in the NSCAA poll, No. 9 in the College Soccer News ranking, No. 11 in the Soccer Times poll and No. 18 in the Top Drawer Soccer poll. With its No. 6 ranking, Harvard has tied its highest position in a national poll, which first occurred during the 2007 season. The Crimson also earned individual national accolades this week, as Andre Akpan was named the Top Drawer Soccer National Player of the Week, while also garnering a nod on the College Soccer News National Team of the Week.
Looking For Another School Record:
Andre Akpan has scored 41 goals in his Crimson career, placing him six tallies behind Chris Ohiri ’64 for the all-time school record. Akpan already owns the Harvard record for career assists with 31 and career points with 113.
Defense Wins Games:
Through six games this season, the Crimson has only surrendered two goals for a team goals-against average of 0.33. During that same span, Harvard has totaled 15 goals, or 2.67 per game.
The Crimson opens Ivy League play at archrival Yale Saturday, Oct. 3. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.