No. 12 Harvard field hockey will continue Ivy League play at Penn on Saturday before returning home to take on Bryant in its annual Vs. Cancer game on Sunday. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – No. 12 Harvard field hockey (7-1, 1-0 Ivy League) has won four games in a row and has its highest national ranking ever heading into weekend games at Penn (4-4, 1-0 Ivy League) on Saturday (12 p.m.) and at home against Bryant (2-8) on Sunday (2 p.m.). Both games will air on ESPN+.
Harvard's game on Sunday will coincide with the team's annual Vs. Cancer game, in partnership with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. These organizations have worked with hundreds of athletes, teams, and communities nationwide to help fund the fight to cure cancer in children. On Sunday, fans can donate to Vs. Cancer in person to help raise money for pediatric cancer research. Throughout the year, the team encourages people to visit the website: https://team.curethekids.org/harvardfieldhockey
What to Know
- Harvard is off to its best eight-game start in program history, keyed by fantastic play at home, strong team defensive, and a balanced scoring attack. The Crimson is 4-0 at Berylson Field, where it has outscored opponents by a combined score of 16-0. Harvard's team goals-against average is fourth in the nation (0.88). Harvard is seventh in the nation in scoring offense (3.75 goals per game), led by junior Bente van Vlijmen (eight goals, five assists), who is sixth in the country in scoring per game (2.63 points per game).
- Junior forward Maddie Earle earned Longstreth/NFHCA National Offensive Player of the Week honors after totaling four goals last weekend, including her first career hat trick in a 4-1 win at No. 18 Maine. Earle is second on the team with 14 points (six goals, two assists) this season. Earle and freshman goalkeeper Ellie Shahbo (Defensive Player of the Week) swept the Ivy League weekly awards as well.
- Goalkeeper Ellie Shahbo has won three straight starts (UMass, Yale, Maine), allowing just one goal and making five saves in that span. Against No. 3 Maryland on Sept. 9, Shahbo made 10 saves against the Terps, the most by a Harvard goalie since 2015 (Issy Davies, 11 saves vs. Maine, 9/13/15).
- Junior Casey Allen has nine points (goal, seven assists), adding two assists last Friday in Harvard's win against Yale. Allen is sixth in the nation with an average of .88 assists per game, and Harvard is third in the nation overall with an average of 3.88 assists per game.
- Harvard is 21-17-2 in the all-time series against Penn, and has won the last two meetings against the Quakers. The Crimson is 6-1 all-time against Bryant and has also won the last two meetings against the Bulldogs.
At The Helm
Tjerk van Herwaarden enters his seventh season as the head coach of Harvard field hockey, with a 62-48 mark overall, and a 25-18 record in Ivy play. The Crimson is 16-1 in its last 17 Ancient Eight contests.
Harvard will continue Ivy League play at Brown next Friday (4 p.m.) before heading across town to play Boston University on Sunday (2 p.m.).