Photo courtesy of Gil Tablot.
For the second consecutive Friday, the Harvard women's lacrosse team will take on Dartmouth. This time, the Crimson is vying for a spot in the Ivy League Championship Tournament final and ultimately earning the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
The Crimson and Big Green will face-off in the first semifinal game Friday at 4 p.m. at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.
The two semifinal games Friday will be streamed lie on Ustream.tv free of charge. The Ivy League Tournament Championship game will air live on CBS College Sports.
Scouting the Crimson
Harvard is 9-5 overall after winning seven of its last nine and five of six Thirteen Crimson players have found the back of the net for a team that averages 12.43 goals per game. Jennifer VanderMeulen paces the offense with 45 goals and five assists for 50 points. Danielle Tetreault (36g, 6a), Jess Halpern (26g, 1a) and Melanie Baskind (25g, 6a), have been scoring threats for the Crimson, which leads the Ivy League and is 26th in the nation in scoring offense.
Tetreault leads the team and is second in the Ivy League in draw controls with 25, while Baskind leads the team with 30 ground balls. Ellen Gleason and Maraih Prewarski pace the Crimson with 15 caused turnovers each. Kerry Clark has made 81 saves in the cage and sports a 10.14 goals-against average.
Last Time Out
Jennifer VanderMeulen scored a hat trick to lead the Crimson in a 14-7 loss at No. 10 Dartmouth. The Big Green held an 8-4 lead at the half. After the Crimson closed the gap to three in the second, Dartmouth fired off five straight scores to pull away. The Crimson struggled in the draw circle, winning just nine of 23 draws. Harvard took more shots, and had eight less turnovers than the Big Green.
Scouting the Big Green
Dartmouth enters the game with a 11-3 overall record and a 6-1 Ivy League mark. The Big Green has won eight of its last nine games including knocking off No. 1 Maryland, 9-8, Sunday.
Four Dartmouth players have scored 20 or more goals this season, with Kat Collins leading the group at 32 goals. Kristen Giovanniello leads the team with 35 ground balls, while Courtney Bennett has dominated in the draw circle, winning 26 draws. Shannie MacKenzie has caused 18 opponent turnovers.
Giovanniello sports a 8.09 goals-against average in the net and has made 133 saves.
The series is tied at 18 after Dartmouth won its 15th straight against the Crimson April 29.
Five Harvard players were selected to the 2011 All-Ivy League team, marking the most Crimson players to be honored since 1994.
Jennifer VanderMeulen and Melanie Baskind both earned spots on the All-Ivy League first-team to lead the Crimson. Danielle Tetreault and Ellen Gleason were named to the second-team, earning All-Ivy accolades for the first time. Jess Halpern earned Ancient Eight honors for the third time when she received honorable mention this season.
No. 1 Penn plays No. 4 Princeton in the second semifinal game Friday night. Princeton was the only conference team to beat the Quakers this season.
Penn, ranked seventh in the nation, is coming off a 13-10 upset of No. 4 Duke last week. Six Quakers earned a spot on the All-Ivy League team, led by Erin Brennan.
Penn leads the all-time series that dates back to 1975, 20-18. Harvard fell to the Quakers, 9-8, March 12. The Quakers have won the last 1 meetings against the Crimson. Harvard won 15 straight against the Quakers from 1981-95. The Crimson's last victory against Penn came April 9, 2000 in Philadelphia.
Like the Crimson, Princeton had five honorees on the All-Ivy League team. The Tigers enter the tournament ranked 14th in the nation after wins over Columbia and Penn State.
Princeton leads the all-time series with the Crimson, 23-17. The two teams first played in 1975 with the Tigers earning the first three wins in the series. Harvard won 11 straight from 1984-92 and is currently riding a two-game win streak.
Penn hosted the inaugural Ivy League Women's Lacrosse Tournament in 2010 after going 7-0 in regular-season Ivy play. The Quakers won that tournament with a 13-9 semifinal win over Princeton and a 9-8 victory over Dartmouth in the championship game. Harvard is the one newcomer to the tournament, as Cornell joined the Quakers, Big Green and Tigers in the four-team field one year ago.
Harvard is receiving votes in the IWLCA poll for the ninth week in a row.
Harvard has defeated a top-20 opponent in each of the last three seasons. Last week, the Crimson earned a 9-8 win against then-No. 12 Princeton. In 2010, Harvard knocked off No. 15 New Hampshire and the previous year, the Crimson topped No. 20 Cornell.
Silencing the Offense
Kerry Clark and the Crimson defense held Yale and New Hampshire without a goal in the second half. In fact, Harvard held its opponents scoreless for 71 minutes and 14 seconds in those two games.
Eight is Great
Harvard scored at least eight goals in 13 of its 14 games. The only time the Crimson did not meet the eight-goal mark was in its season finale against No. 10 Dartmouth.
Against the Rest
The Crimson has the league's highest scoring offense and take the most shots on goal (20.43) and the second best shot percentage (.473).
Jennifer VanderMeulen leads the league and is 15th the nation in goals per game (3.21). Danielle Tetreault is not far behind ranking 41st.
One Goal Games
Harvard has played in six one-goal games this season winning three of them. Three of Harvard's five losses came by just one tally.
Second Half Scorers
The Crimson is definitely a second-half team, coming from behind in four games to earn the victory: Cornell, Johns Hopkins, New Hampshire and Columbia.
About the Same
Harvard has scored 86 first-half goals and 88 second-half goals for 174 on the season.
Jennifer VanderMeulen has scored in every game of her career, 29 straight contests for the Crimson. She has 21 games with three or more goals and 14 games with four or more scores.
In the Record Books
Two Harvard players crossed the 100 goal plateau this season. Jess Halpern scored her 100th career goal against No. 7 Virginia (April 5), while Jennifer VanderMeulen did it against Dartmouth (April 28). Halpern has 108 goals (eighth on Harvard's all-time list), 22 assists and 130 career points entering this weekend. VanderMeulen's 101 career tallies, rank 10th in the Crimson annals.
One of a Kind
Harvard has just one senior of its roster this year in Sam McMahon.
The Young Guns
Harvard boasts 16 underclassmen, including 11 freshmen on its 24-player roster.
O' Captain, My Captain
Senior Sam McMahon and juniors Melanie Baskind and Tyler Petropulos were elected captains for the 2011 season. It's the fifth time in program history three players have been selected to lead the team and only the second since 1999.
Multi Sports Stars
Several Harvard players also moonlight on fall sports teams. Melanie Baskind is a member of the women's soccer team. She was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2008 and has earned second-team (2009) and first-team (2010) All-Ivy League honors as well. She was an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America second team selection last fall.