Penn, New Hampshire Await Field Hockey this Weekend

Penn, New Hampshire Await Field Hockey this Weekend

Balleza and her fellow classmates have accounted for five of the Crimson's eight goals this season (photo courtesy Athletic Communications).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After defeating Yale for the first time in four years last weekend, the Harvard field hockey team will look to build on its two-game winning streak as it welcomes Penn Saturday and visits New Hampshire Sunday.

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Fans can follow the weekend's action live from home. Live stats are available for Saturday's home contest, while offers free live video and stats for Sunday's matchup.

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Last Time Out
Harvard picked up its first Ivy League win, 3-2, Saturday at Yale. The win, which was the Crimson's first over Yale since 2008, saw Marissa Balleza, Kaitlyn Boudah and Noel Painter each score a goal. Elizabeth Jacobson contributed to the offense with an assist. Goalkeeper Jenn Hatfield picked up the victory with five saves. Harvard held a commanding 26-16 advantage in shots and earned 17 corners while allowing six.

Related Link: Field Hockey Downs Yale, 3-2

Leading the Crimson
Five different Crimson has found the back of the cage with freshman Sarah Finnemore leading the way with three goals. Noel Painter's five points with two scores and an assist is good for second on the squad. Marissa Balleza and Elizabeth Jacobson have recorded a goal and an assist, respectively. Kaitlyn Boudah rounds out Harvard goal scorers with one tally.

Defending the Cage
Jenn Hatfield has seen every minute of action in the cage for the Crimson this season. The senior has recorded 24 saves to boast the 15th-best save percentage (.774) in the nation  and best in the Ancient Eight, while her 1.75 goals against average is good for 28th nationally and second in the Ivy League.

Offensive Outburst
After scoring a single goal over the course of the first two games, Harvard has found its stride offensively with a combined seven goals in the last two contests. The Crimson had four goals at Holy Cross Sept. 13, before finding the back of the cage three times at Yale Sept. 21. The total of seven scores matches Harvard's highest two-game total since 2012 when the Crimson lost to Penn, 4-3, and downed Bryant, 4-1.

Young Guns
Harvard's underclassmen have taken control of the Crimson's offense, accounting for 5-of-the-8 goals, taking .648 (36-56) of the team's total shots and .649 (24-37) of the squad's shots on goal. Freshmen have tallied four goals while Elizabeth Jacobson, who represents the sophomore class, has found the back of the cage once.

Scouting Penn
Penn has won three straight games to improve to 5-1 overall while carrying an unblemished 1-0 record in Ivy League play into Saturday's contest.

Nine Quakers have registered a point this season as Jasmine Cole leads the pack with 18 to rank first in the Ancient Eight. The freshman also leads the league with nine goals. Emily Corcoran is second on the team with seven goals and three handouts while Elise Tilton rounds out Penn's double-digit point scorers with 10 on five goals.

Carly Sokach defends the cage for Penn. The junior has turned away 75.0 percent of opponent's attempts and boasts a 2.17 goals against mark.

All-Time Series Against the Quakers
Harvard owns an 18-12-2 advantage in the all-time series between the two programs, which dates back to 1977.  The foes last met in Philadelphia, Pa., in 2012 when Penn claimed a 4-3 victory.

Related Link: Offensive Outburst Not Enough for Field Hockey at Penn

Scouting New Hampshire
New Hampshire (3-4) rides a two-game win streak into this weekend after downing Northeastern, 3-1 and besting Central Michigan, 2-1.

Meg Flatley leads New Hampshire's offense with 12 points on five goals and two assists. Megan Bozek and Hannah Richard have each netted four goals, while Casey Pohlmeyer has tallied a team-best four helpers.

Carlie Tarbell has defended the cage every game for the Wildcats and features a 2.69 goals against average and a .683 save percentage. In seven games, the goalkeeper has notched 43 saves.

Prior to Sunday's contest, the Wildcats will travel to No. 7 Massachusetts Friday, Sept. 27.

All-Time Series Against the Wildcats
In a series that began in 1978, Harvard trails New Hampshire, 12-17-1. The two programs last met in Cambridge in 2011 when the Wildcats edged the Crimson, 4-3, in overtime, recording their fourth straight win over Harvard.

Related Link: No. 10 New Hampshire Outlasts Harvard Field Hockey, 4-3, in Overtime

Up Next
After this weekend, Harvard will continue Ivy League action when it welcomes Brown to Jordan Field Oct. 5.