Crimson Readies for NCAA Third-Round Matchup With Maryland
Pictured: Senior Adam Rousmaniere scored a goal off a free
kick in the Crimson's 3-0 win over Monmouth Nov. 22.
Photo courtesy: David Silverman Photography
Live Audio (WHRB 95.3 FM-Cambridge)
Complete Game Notes (PDF)
For the first time since 1987, 10th-seeded Harvard has advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament. The Crimson will host Maryland, the defending national champion, with the winner advancing to the Elite Eight to face the winner of Virginia and Portland.
How They Got Here:
Harvard won the Ivy League title, earning the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA postseason. The Crimson defeated Monmmouth in the second round, 3-0.
Maryland earned an at-large bid from the Atlantic Coast Conference and has won two NCAA games to this point. In the opening round, the Terrapins topped Loyola (Md.), 2-1, and then defeated Penn State, 2-1, in round two.
Come Out To The Game:
Ticket prices for Sunday’s game are $10 for adults and $5 for college students with a valid ID and children under the age of 18. All Harvard undergraduates will be admitted free of charge.
Live game statistics and free live audio will be available at www.GoCrimson.com and www.WHRB.org. Alasdair Wilkins and Brendan Roche will have the audio call, which will also be broadcast live on WHRB (95.3 FM-Cambridge).
Around The Tourney:
Harvard was joined in the NCAA tournament by fellow Ivy League schools Brown, Dartmouth and Princeton and the Crimson are the lone Ancient Eight team still alive in the postseason. Maryland is one of six ACC teams left in the tournament.
Sunday’s second-round game matches up two of the nation’s best defenses against one another. Harvard currently ranks 15th with 0.70 goals-against per game, while Maryland stands 19th, surrendering 0.74 goals per contest.
Harvard In The NCAA Tournament:
The Crimson has now reached the NCAA Championship for four straight years. Harvard owns an 20-15 record (.571) all-time in the NCAA tournament. The Crimson has reached the national semifinal four times (1969, ’71, ’86 and ’87), the furthest the team has progressed in the tournament.
In the Crimson’s opening round matchup against Monmouth, Austin Harms made two saves, one in each half, to earn his seventh shutout of the season. Richard Smith netted the game-winning goal in the 31st minute and Andre Akpan and Adam Rousmaniere each chipped in with a goal each. Akpan’s tally tied him with Chris Ohiri ’64 for Harvard’s career goals record with 47.
With 30 points on 12 goals and six assists, senior co-captain Akpan, who earned Ivy League Player of the Year honors, leads Harvard in scoring and is tied with classmate Rousmaniere and Brian Rogers with the most assists on the squad with six apiece. Rogers, the Ivy League Rookie of the Year, ranks second on the Crimson with 18 points and six goals.
Between the pipes, Harms owns a 13-3-1 record with a 0.75 goals-against average and a save percentage of .809 (55 of 68).
The Crimson has scored 32 times this fall, while only surrendering 13 tallies by opponents. Harvard has outscored teams by an 20-8 margin in the second half, while owning an 95-66 advantage in corner kicks.
The Terrapins have earned back-to-back 2-1 wins in the NCAA tournament, defeating Loyola (Md.) at home and downing seventh-seeded Penn State on the road. With the two postseason victories, Maryland has improved its overall record to 14-5-2.
The Terrapins are led offensively by Jason Herrick, who has scored nine goals and amassed 19 points this fall. Herrick has also netted seven of Maryland’s 14 game-winning goals. Drew Yates and Casey Townsend stand tied for second on the team with five goals apiece.
Zach MacMath has started all but two games in net and owns a 12-5-2 record with six clean sheets. He has a 0.82 goals-against average and a .765 save percentage.
The Terrpains are outscoring opponents, 30-16, overall, including 17-5 in the first half and 12-11 in the second half. Maryland boasts the nation’s 15th-best defense, allowing only 0.72 goals per game. Including postseason play, Maryland has a sizable advantage in corner kicks earned, 127-71.
Harvard and Maryland have never met on the soccer field.
Harvard Sweeps Ivy League Soccer:
For the first time since 1996, both Harvard soccer teams won the Ivy League title. The Crimson soccer teams have also both qualified for the NCAA tournament the last two seasons.
When The Game Is On the Lines:
Andre Akpan ranked second in the Ivy League with four game-winning tallies, while Brian Rogers stood tied for third with three game-winners to his credit.
State Of Massachusetts:
Harvard owns an 9-1 record in games played in Massachusetts this season. The Crimson is 8-1 at home and also won a non-conference game at Boston College Sept. 7.
Great Beginning, Great Ending:
The Harvard senior class - Andre Akpan, Brian Grimm, Desmond Mitchell, Kwaku Nyamekye and Adam Rousmaniere - won the Ivy League title as freshmen in 2006 and regained the crown this fall.
Harvard Against the NCAA Field:
The Crimson has played eight games against teams that reached the 2009 NCAA tournament. Harvard has posted a 5-3 record against those squads, having defeated Stony Brook, Boston College, Brown, Dartmouth, and most recently, Monmouth. The Crimson dropped games to Wake Forest, Connecticut and Princeton.
Maryland Against The NCAA Field:
Of the 15 other teams remaining in the NCAA tournament, the Terrapins own a 2-4-1 record, having beaten Boston College and North Carolina in the regular season. Maryland has not played an Ivy League school this season.
Among the Ivy League’s Best:
Andre Akpan leads the Ivy League in points (30), goals (12) and is tied for first with six assists. Goalkeeper Austin Harms paces the Ancient Eight with seve shutouts to his credit. As a team, Harvard leads the league with the fewest goals allowed (13) and shutouts (nine).
Harvard boasts an 12-1 record when scoring the game’s first goal this season, but is only 2-2-1 when the opponent gets on the scoreboard first.
The Crimson is 6-1 in its last six contests and has won four straight games (Dartmouth, Columbia, Penn and Monmouth) entering the Sunday’s game.
Defense Wins Games:
The Crimson, which has allowed only 13 goals in 18 games this season (0.72 goals allowed per contest), owns a 14-1-1 record when allowing one goal or less in contests this fall. Harvard is 0-2 when allowing two or more goals in a game.
Vs. Ranked Opponents:
The Crimson has faced six ranked opponents this season, going 4-2 in those games. Harvard defeated No. 14 Boston University, 1-0, Sept. 11, downed No. 15 Brown, 1-0, Oct. 17 and topped No. 21 Dartmouth, 2-1, Oct. 31. Most recently, Harvard defeated No. 5 Monmouth, 3-0, in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The team also lost to No. 3 Wake Forest, 1-0, Sept. 26 and fell to No. 17 Connecticut, 4-0, Oct. 17. Both losses to ranked teams came in road games, while Harvard is 4-0 against ranked opponents at Ohiri Field.
Harvard outscored Ivy League opponents, 9-5, in seven games this fall. In non-conference games, the Crimson owned a 20-8 advantage in goal differential against opponents.
Climbing The All-Time Chart:
With his 12 goals and six assists this season, Andre Akpan has increased his Harvard career points and assists records to 127 and 33, respectively. Akpan also stands tied for first with Chris Ohiri ’64 on the all-time Crimson goals list with 47.
Harvard On Sunday:
The Crimson has played four games on Sunday this fall, going 4-0. Harvard defeated Army, 4-0, at Ohiri Field Sept. 13 and shut down Penn, 1-0, at Ohiri Field Nov. 15. The Crimson also topped Monmouth Nov. 22 in the second round of the NCAA tournament.