Cynthia Tassopoulos has a 2-3 record in the cage this season (photo Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After routing Bryant, 4-1, on Monday, the Harvard field hockey team will look to build a winning streak when it visits Brown Saturday and entertains Quinnipiac Sunday.
at Brown, Sept. 29, Noon
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vs. Quinnipiac, Sept. 30, 2 p.m.
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The Crimson (2-5, 0-2 Ivy League) is led by sophomores Noel Painter and Caitlin Rea. Painter leads the team with nine points on four goals and one assist, while Rea has added four helpers and one score. In goal, senior Cynthia Tassopoulos has made five starts and junior Jenn Hatfield has received the starting nod on two occasions. Tassopoulos enters the weekend with a 1.74 goals against average and .816 save percentage, while Hatfield has allowed 2.49 tallies per game and owns a .750 save percentage.
Last Time Out
Harvard exploded for four goals, its season high, in a 4-1 win over Bryant Sept. 24. Painter paced Harvard with two goals and an assist, while Rea and Rachael Rosenfeld also found the back of the cage. Tassopoulos made eight stops to anchor Harvard on the defensive side.
After scoring three goals over the course of the first five games, Harvard has found its stride offensively with a combined seven goals in the last two contests. The Crimson had three goals against Penn Sept. 22, before the four-goal onslaught over Bryant. The total of seven scores matches Harvard's highest two-game total since its first contests of the 2011 season when the Crimson blanked Holy Cross, 4-0, and snuck past Lafayette, 3-2 (OT).
Tassopoulos Near the Top
Cynthia Tassopoulos has been one of the toughest goalies in the nation to score on so far in 2012. The senior co-captain was ranked eighth in save percentage (.800), 11th in saves per game (8.00), and 35th in goals against average (1.91) through Sept. 23. Since the last rankings came out, Tassopoulos made eight saves, while allowing one goal against Bryant Sept. 24.
Rea to the Rescue
Caitlin Rea has been involved with half of Harvard's goals to date. The sophomore has assisted on four goals and also picked up a goal of her own against Bryant. Entering Monday, Rea was ranked 19th in the country in assists per game with 0.67. Of Ivy League players, she ranked third behind Princeton's Katie Reinprecht (2nd, 1.00) and Columbia's Paige Simmons (11th, 0.75).
The Bears (2-5, 0-2 Ivy League) have dropped four straight since winning two of the first three games of the season. Sophomore Clayton Christus and freshman Hannah Rodgers lead the team with seven points and three goals apiece. Shannon McSweeney has played every minute in goal for the Bears and features a 3.67 goals against average and .741 save percentage. The sophomore ranked second in the country in saves per game with 10.5 as of Sept. 24.
Quinnipiac (6-4) is on a two-game winning streak after beating American and Brown by 3-2 scores. The Bobcats have four players with three or more goals, including Jennalise Taylor with six and Jess Rusin with five. Four of Taylor's scores have been game-winners this season.Senior Nicole Lewis has received the majority of the playing time in the cage for Quinnipiac and currently owns a 6-3 record. Lewis owns a 1.63 goals against average, good for 27th in the country, and a .754 save percentage, while seeing time in nine of the team's 10 games.
The Crimson leads the all-time series against Brown, 21-10-6, and is even with Quinnipiac, 1-1. Harvard has topped the Bears in four of the last five meetings and is 16-3 since 1993. Quinnipiac tied the two teams' series with a 4-3 win over Harvard last season. The Crimson had previously defeated the Bobcats, 1-0, in 1999.
Including the match with Quinnipiac, Harvard will play four consecutive games at Jordan Field. The Crimson hosts No. 9 Northeastern (Oct. 3), Bucknell (Oct. 7) and Cornell (Oct. 13) before going back on the road.