Harvard Women’s Soccer Visits Columbia Saturday Evening, Looks to Clinch Outright Ivy Title

Harvard Women’s Soccer Visits Columbia Saturday Evening, Looks to Clinch Outright Ivy Title

Co-captain Lindsey Kowal and the Crimson are 8-0-1 in their last nine games (Gil Talbot).

The Game:
After clinching a share of the program's 10th Ivy League title with its dramatic 2-1 victory over Dartmouth Oct. 29, the Harvard women's soccer team looks to earn an outright conference championship when its visits Columbia Saturday at 7 p.m. A win or tie for Harvard would clinch the outright title for the Crimson.

A victory by the Crimson would also mark the most wins for Harvard in a season since going 12-8 in the 2000 season.

Harvard sits atop the Ivy League standings at 5-0-1 in conference play and 11-4-1 overall, while the Lions are 3-2-1 and 6-9-1. The Crimson leads Penn (13-2-1, 4-1-1) by three points in the standings, 16-13. The Quakers, who host Princeton, could earn a tie of the Ivy title with a win and a Harvard loss Saturday.

Follow From Home:
Live statistics will be available for Saturday's game. 

The Matchup:
Harvard and Columbia have played 24 times since the first meeting in 1986, with the Crimson leading, 21-3-1. Harvard has taken the last three games between the schools, including a 2-0 decision last season in Cambridge on Nov. 6.

Last Time Out:
Peyton Johnson scored off a free kick with only 10 seconds remaining in the second half to propel the Crimson to a 2-1 victory over Dartmouth. The Harvard win, combined with Penn's tie at Brown, clinched the share of the Ivy title for the Crimson. Melanie Baskind also scored in the victory, and goalkeeper Bethany Kanten recorded four saves.

About Harvard:
The Crimson, which is riding a nine-game unbeaten streak (8-0-1), is led offensively by Melanie Baskind, who paces the Ivy League in points (24), is tied for first with eight goals and leads the conference with eight assists.

Meg Casscells-Hamby (4-5-13), Elizabeth Weisman (5-1-11) and Peyton Johnson (4-3-11) stand second and third, respectively, on the Crimson in scoring.

Bethany Kanten owns a 1.04 goals-against average, to go along with one shutout and 38 saves this fall. In Ivy League play, she is 4-0-1 with 26 stops and a .812 save percentage.

The Crimson is outscoring opponents, 33-24, including 22-13 in the second half of games. Harvard has earned 94corner kicks, while opponents only have 39 to their credit. The Crimson is also outshooting teams, 244-173. In conference games, Harvard has a 12-6 edge in goals, including am 8-3 edge at home.

About Columbia:
The Lions are unbeaten in their last three games, having defeated Dartmouth and Manhattan, and are coming off a 2-2 tie against Yale Saturday.

Columbia, which sports a 4-1-1 record at home this fall, has had nine different players find the back of the net. Ashlin Yahir (4-2-10) paces the team in goals and points, while Alexa Yow and Liz Wicks have tallied two goals apiece. Yahir has mustered 21 shots, 10 of which have been on target.

Goalkeeper Lillian Kelly has started 13 of 16 games and is 6-7-1 with one clean sheet and 67 saves. She also boasts a 1.28 goals-against average and a save percentage of .788.

Going Dancing:
For the 13th time in program history, Harvard will compete in the NCAA tournament. Most recently, the Crimson advanced to the NCAA postseason in 2008 and 2009. In 2008, Harvard tied Northeastern, 2-2, but fell in penalty kicks, 4-2. In the following year, Boston College earned a 1-0 win against the Crimson.

Moving On Up:
With her 24 points this fall, Melanie Baskind ranks tied for sixth in program history with Katherine Sheeleigh '11 with 79 career points, stands seventh with 27 goals and is sixth with 25 assists.

There Is No Place Like Home:
Harvard concluded the regular season with a 10-1 record at  home this fall, including a 8-1 mark at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium and a 2-0 record at Ohiri Field. The Crimson has outscored teams, 26-13, in 10 home contests.

The Crimson's 10 home victories this season tie the program record (1979).

Coming Up:
The Crimson will await Monday's NCAA tournament selection show to discover who will be Harvard's first round opponent. The NCAA tournament's first round will be held on campus sites Nov. 11-13.