Co-captain Caroline Code and the Crimson host Penn and Fairfield this weekend (Gil Talbot).
Harvard (5-2, 1-0) vs. Penn (6-1, 1-0)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard field hockey team takes its four-game win streak into this weekend, hosting Penn Saturday, Oct. 3 at 12 p.m. and Fairfield Sunday, Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. Both games will be played at the Harvard Field Hockey Stadium and be broadcast live on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Since its 1-2 start to the season, the Harvard field hockey team has reeled off four consecutive wins, including beginning the Ivy portion of its schedule with a 2-1 win over Yale. In New Haven, Connecticut last Saturday, Marissa Balleza scored midway through the second half to tie the Bulldogs at 1-1, a score that would stand through two overtime periods. In the shootout, Elizabeth Jacobson scored on both of her attempts to clinch the victory for the Crimson.
The win over Yale preceded Sunday's 5-3 triumph at UMass Lowell. Senior co-captain Elizabeth Jacobson scored two more goals against the River Hawks, giving her six this year to support her team-high 16 points. Balleza also scored for the second time in two days, giving her a team-best seven tallies.
This weekend begins a lengthy home stretch for the Crimson. Harvard is slated to play seven of eight games on its home turf, with the lone trip away from the Harvard Field Hockey Stadium coming Oct. 17 with a journey to Cornell.
Just Keep Shooting
Harvard paces the Ivy League in shots per game, averaging 18.29 per contest. Of its 128 shots this season, the Crimson has challenged the opposing goalie with 79 of those on goal.
Senior Madison Jung, a key contributor in 30 games for the Crimson during her career accomplished a feat she had yet to in the previous three years. Assisted by Dina Sinno, Jung registered her first career goal in the Crimson's 5-3 victory at UMass Lowell.
Junior Marissa Balleza and senior Elizabeth Jacobson have combined to score 13 of Harvard's 17 goals this season. Balleza is currently on a three-game scoring streak and has tallies in five games. Jacobson has goals in four games this season and her six total scores, matching her career-high from her sophomore and junior seasons. Of those six goals, three have counted as the game-winner this year.
1. Judy Collins '99 – 43
4. Sarah Mleczko '80 - 32
5. Kate McDavitt '04 – 30
6. Marissa Balleza '17 – 28
Game-winning goals, Career
1. Shelley Maasdorp '05 – 17
2. Chloe Keating '11 – 10
3. Mina Pell '04 – 8
4. Marissa Balleza '17 – 7
5. Elizabeth Jacobson '16 - 6
1. Judy Collins '99 – 102
7. Sarah Mleczko '80 – 68
8. Jen McDavitt '06 - 65
9. Marissa Balleza '17 – 62
Elizabeth Jacobson '16 - 52
T1. Ceci Clark '92 – 26
T1. Jen Ahn '04 – 26
10. Dominique Kalil '00 – 16
Ellie Cookson '16 – 13
Since its season-opening defeat to current No. 12 Liberty, Penn has won six-straight games. Similar to Harvard's Ivy League opener, Penn needed extra time to beat Cornell last Friday, albeit much shorter. Seventeen seconds into overtime, Alexa Hoover netted the game-winner on a penalty stroke to push the Quakers to their current 6-1 record.
Hoover, a sophomore from Collegeville, Pennsylvania, is running away with the early scoring lead in the Ancient Eight. With 17 goals in seven games, Hoover has a 10-goal lead over Balleza and Cornell's Krysten Mayers. All the scoring has also led to senior Elizabeth Hitti leading the Ivy League with eight assists in 2015. Sophomore Liz Mata has played all but 15 minutes in goal for the Quakers, allowing 2.84 goals on average with a save percentage of .634.
The Stags are .500 with a 4-4 record heading into the weekend. Fairfield will first travel to La Salle Friday for a 4 p.m. matchup, before heading to Cambridge Sunday for a 2 p.m. clash. Road contests have been good to the Stags thus far as they sport a 3-0 record after its 4-2 win at Providence last Sunday.
Junior Ann Burgoyne has a team-best seven goals this season, including her game-tying goal against the Friars. Fairfield's goalie, Caitlin Bennett collected MAAC Defensive Player of the Week honors last week after she made 18 saves in wins versus Hofstra and Providence. On the year, Bennett has started seven of Fairfield's eight contests, averaging 2.59 GAA and a .714 save percentage, which matches back-up Emma Singer.