The Crimson opens the 2014 campaign in Washington, D.C., this weekend. (Photo: Harvard Athletic Communications).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After enjoying its best season since 2009 a year ago, the Harvard men's soccer team looks to carry on the momentum into 2014. Now in his second season in Cambridge, The Virginia B. and James O. Welch, Jr. '52 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Soccer Pieter Lehrer and his Crimson have a tough first test, however, kicking off the year with a trip to Washington, D.C., to take on perennial powerhouse No. 9 Georgetown and George Washington over the weekend.
Harvard and GU square off at Shaw Field at 4 p.m. on Friday, before the Crimson makes the short trip to GWU to take on the Colonials at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Free Weekend on Ivy League Digital Network
After an incredibly successful inaugural year that saw over 1,000 events streamed live, The Ivy League Digital Network will kick off its second year broadcast schedule with a free opening weekend.
The free period will run from September 5 through September 7 and will feature season-opening games around the Ivy League in field hockey, women's volleyball, men's and women's soccer and men's water polo. To sign up for your free weekend on The Ivy League Digital Network, click here.
Use the all new Social Stream on GoCrimson.com to stay connected with the Crimson on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube this year. The Social Stream brings the conversation from all three platforms into one convenient location, allowing fans of all Harvard Athletics teams to monitor the action in real time.
Back and On Track
The Crimson rebounded last year in a strong way with a 7-8-2 overall record, going on an impressive run in the Ivy League with a 5-2 mark. Towards the end of 2013, Harvard finished 6-2, including a four-game win streak from Oct. 26-Nov. 9.
Harvard lost its top-two goal scorers from a season ago, but both junior Andrew Chang and senior Philip Fleischman, who tallied two scores apiece, return to action in 2014. With a strong, highly touted incoming freshman class to step up the competition, and the return of key upperclassmen like co-captains Kyle Henderson and Mark Ashby, the latter of whom was an All-Ivy honoree in 2013, things bode well for the surging Crimson.
Last season, Harvard remained in some tight contests on the strength of its keepers, including now-junior Evan Mendez, who picked up a 6-1-1 record and earned First Team All-Ivy honors as a sophomore. In nine starts, Mendez allowed just seven goals (0.85 GAA), compiling 40 saves.
A Look at No. 9 Georgetown (0-0-2, 0-0-0 BIG EAST)
The Hoyas enter the weekend on a two-match stalemate streak, but have tied two prolific teams in Indiana (1-1) and then-No. 1 Notre Dame (0-0); both came in double overtime on the road. The Blue & Gray is led on the attack by a cast of nationally known talent. Though the Hoyas only have one goal thus far, coming off the foot of Brandon Allen, GU is also led by Alex Muyl and Melvin Snoh.
In goal, Tomas Gomez has held down to tough offenses, allowing just one goal, while picking up 10 saves on the year.
A Look at the Colonials (1-1-0, 0-0-0 A10)
George Washington, bringing a 1-1-0 record into Sunday, is coming off split weekend in the Kuykenstrong D.C. College Cup, dropping a 2-0 decision in its opener at American before routing Howard, 4-1.
The Colonials spread the wealth against the Bison last Sunday, with four different scorers. Garrett Heine leads all GW forwards with four points (1g, 2a), while Jonny Forrest, Farhan Khan and Angel Valencia all have tallied a score as well.
In net, JP van der Merwe has allowed three goals in his two starts, racking up just three saves as well for a 1.50 GAA and .500 save percentage.