Harvard begins Ivy League play on Saturday when Yale comes to Cambridge. (Photo Courtesy: Penny Ashford)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Riding a five-game win streak, the Harvard men's soccer team will test its mettle this weekend as Ivy League play gets underway. The Crimson (5-3) is set to host Yale (0-6-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium.
Ivy League Digital Network
After an incredibly successful inaugural year that saw over 1,000 events streamed live, The Ivy League Digital Network has returned for 2014-15, providing fans with unprecedented coverage of the Ivy League.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.
Use the all new Social Stream on GoCrimson.com to stay connected with the Crimson on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube this year. The Social Stream brings the conversation from all three platforms into one convenient location, allowing fans of all Harvard Athletics teams to monitor the action in real time.
Last Time Out
After falling behind quickly 2-0 in the first 16 minutes at UMass on Friday, Harvard clawed its way back in the second half in dramatic fashion yet again. The Crimson scored the game's final three goals to defeat the Minutemen, 3-2 in overtime.
Before the horn at halftime, Nate Devine found Jake Freeman in the box to cut the lead to 2-1. From there, Daniel Smith added his team-best third goal with an equalizing header at the 53-minute mark to carry the Crimson momentum forward. From there, Hiroki Kobayashi ended the UMass upset bid with a lofting header over an outstretched keeper to win it for Harvard. The Crimson outshot the Minutemen, 33-2, sending in an incredible 21 shots on goal in the victory.
On the Map
Harvard's streak is impressive enough – five games, averaging 3.2 goals per outing – but the offensive surge is putting the Crimson on the map, both nationally and within the conference rankings. The Crimson scoring offense is the No. 13 in the country, averaging 2.25 goals per game overall.
Harvard averages 2.75 assists per contest, good enough for fifth-best in the country, by far the highest total in the Ancient Eight. The 7.25 points per game is sixth in the land, while the 58 total points is good enough for 15th-best out of 200 clubs.
On an individual level a few Crimson are gaining recognition as well. Freshman Sam Brown's four assists is tops in the Ivy League and comes in at No. 28 in the country, as does his 0.50 assists-per-game average. Adding to the freshman prowess on the attack, Christian Sady and Nate Devine are tied for first in the Ivy League with 0.60 assists per game, each totaling three helpers in five games this season.
Though he's missed some time, senior co-captain Kyle Henderson's three goals are tied with sophomore Daniel Smith for the third-highest total in the League, while his goals per outing comes in at No. 3 among the Ivies as well.
Harvard owns the advantage in the all-time series that dates back to 1907, having a 51-38-11 overall record against Yale. The teams' most recent meeting came Oct. 5 of last season that ended in a 2-1 victory for the Elis.
This season, Yale comes into both teams' Ivy opener winless, but not without its chances. The Bulldogs are 0-6-2, with five of their six losses coming by just one goal. Yale tied Sacred Heart, 1-1, and Manhattan, 0-0, for its two unbeaten contests in 2014.
Leading the Bulldogs on the attack are the trio of Mitch Wagner, Henos Musie and Henry Flugstad-Clarke, each of whom have tallied a goal this season. Henry Albrecht leads the club with two assists, and is tied with Cameron Kirdzik in shots with 12.
Between the posts stand a pair of keepers in Blake Brown and Ryan Simpson. Simpson, a sophomore, has seen the majority of the split time, yielding six goals, while making 20 saves on the year. Brown, who held Harvard to just a single goal in the last meeting, has given up four scores in four games, but owns an 0-3-0 record.
Following the visit from Yale, another Ancient Eight rival pays a visit next week as Cornell comes to Soldiers Field at 4:30 p.m.