Dartmouth Hosts Men's Soccer in Saturday Ivy Showdown

Dartmouth Hosts Men's Soccer in Saturday Ivy Showdown

Zack Wolfenzon leads the Crimson with seven points on three goals and an assist (Photo Courtesy: Justine Agaloos).

The Matchup
The Harvard men's soccer team travels to Hanover, N.H., to take on Dartmouth in an Ivy League showdown Saturday afternoon. The Crimson (2-8-3, 0-3-1) is still in search of its first league victory while the Big Green (7-6-0, 3-1-0) is just one point out of first place in the conference.

Series History
Harvard and Dartmouth have faced each other 85 times, with the Crimson holding a 42-34-9 advantage in the all-time series. The first game between the two teams was played in October, 1921 with the Big Green posting a 2-0 victory in Cambridge. Dartmouth has represented a tough test for the Crimson in recent years, as Harvard is 2-3-1 in its last six games with Dartmouth. Last season, the teams played to a 1-1 draw in Cambridge.

Last Time Out
Coming off a thrilling double-overtime victory over local foe Boston University, the Crimson couldn't make it back-to-back victories as Harvard dropped a narrow, 2-1 decision to Princeton in double overtime last Saturday on the road. The teams were locked in a 0-0 tie for the first 83 minutes of the match, but the hosts crawled out in front at 83:52 with a late tally. The goal served to wake the Crimson up, and the guests answered back two minutes later on a Zack Wolfenzon score. The first overtime went by without incident but just 1:42 into the second extra frame, Alex Wettermann secured the victory with the game-winning goal for the Tigers. Harvard goalie Evan Mendez ended the contest with six saves.

About the Crimson
The Harvard offense is starting to gel in the back half of the season, as the Crimson has scored at least one goal in each of its last five contests. Leading the way for Harvard is senior Zack Wolfenzon, who has seven points on three goals and an assist this year. Rookie forward Oliver White also has three goals on the year, and is one of five Harvard players to have seen action in all 13 games this season. Jake Freeman and Hiroki Kobayashi have a pair of goals each on the season, and sophomore David Barna leads all players with two assists this year, both on set pieces.

Evan Mendez has been the go-to goalie as of late, starting the last three matches for Harvard. The first-year player brings a 1.72 goals-against average and 36 saves into the Dartmouth contest.

Scouting Dartmouth
While the Big Green was up and down through its non-conference slate, it has hit its stride in Ivy play, collecting three league wins in four chances. After a 2-1 overtime loss to Princeton in its league opener Sept. 29, Dartmouth went on to down Yale (1-0), Penn (3-1), and Columbia (2-1). The game against the Lions was Dartmouth's most recent contest.

Sophomore forward Alex Adelabu has been a goal-scoring machine for Dartmouth, registering team-high totals of seven tallies and 16 points. Juniors Andoni Georgiou and Patrick Murray have scored three goals each on the year and sophomore Colin Heffron leads the team in assists with four. Junior goalie Noah Cohen has started all but one contest for the Big Green and has made 49 saves on the season to go along with a 1.32 goals-against average and two shutouts.

Bonus Soccer
The Crimson has shown a penchant for hanging tough this season, forcing seven games to go into overtime this season. Harvard's last three games, and five of its last six, have gone to overtime. Harvard played in five overtime contests last season, posting a 1-1-3 record in those contests.

Next Up
Harvard plays its final non-conference contest of the season Tuesday when it travels to Worcester, Mass., to take on Holy Cross in a 7 p.m. game.