The Crimson looks to remain undefeated in Ivy play this Saturday. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After falling for the first time in six games, the Harvard women's soccer team looks to rebound this weekend as Cornell comes to Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium for an Ivy League showdown. The Crimson (6-3-2, 1-0-1 Ivy) and Big Red (6-4, 1-1 Ivy) will do battle at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Two former alumnae, Naomi Miller and Emily Stauffer, have been inducted into the Harvard University Athletics Hall of Fame and will be recognized prior to Saturday's contest.
Miller earned First Team All-America status in 1996 and was a two-time Regional All-American during her time at Harvard. The 1995 Ivy League Rookie of the Year and 1997 Ivy League Player of the Year, Miller earned First Team All-Ivy honors all four years she donned the Crimson and White. During her four years, Miller received numerous national and regional accolades during the successful late-90s NCAA runs for Harvard.
Stauffer, who is a member of the Ivy League Silver Anniversary Team, was a four-time All-American during her time in Cambridge. Her efforts on and off the field garnered her Academic All-American honors three times as well, and she was named the 1998 NSCAA Scholar Athlete of the Year. Stauffer was one of the best to come through the Ivy League as she was named both the Ivy League Player and Ivy League Rookie of the Year during her career.
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
Harvard found the back of the net for the first time in 220 minutes on Wednesday versus Boston University, but the Terriers became the first team in five games to score on the Crimson as BU stole a 2-1 victory in double overtime.
The thrilling contest had a few bright spots for the hard-fighting Crimson, as senior Bethany Kanten stepped up in goal for the first time in over a year, while freshman Mia Bladin registered her first career score. Kanten played lights out between the posts, picking up 11 saves, most of them highlight-reel worthy. The two goals she did allow were not easily earned by BU in the process. Bladin's score came at the 43-minute mark was a welcomed spark for the Crimson.
The Total Package
Aside from its recent scoring troubles, the Harvard attack has been fairly solid all season, scoring 16 goals – second most in the League. Margaret Purce leads the charge with her four tallies, the third-highest goal count among Ancient Eight scorers. Emily Mosbacher has been thorough as well, registering three marks on the season, while Meg Casscells-Hamby and Brooke Dickens each have a pair of goals.
Defensively, Harvard boasts arguably the best back line in the conference, as the Crimson has allowed just seven goals in 11 games. Bailey Gary and Alika Keene are the only two Crimson to start all 11 contests, anchoring the back line that includes the rotating play of co-captain Marie Margolius, Erika Garcia, and freshmen Marie Becker and Mia Bladin.
Behind the stout defense stands a pair of fierce keepers in Cheta Emba and Lizzie Durack. Though Kanten stepped in admirably on Wednesday, Emba and Durack have combined to post six clean sheets, allowing just five goals between the two, combining for 30 saves. Durack holds a 0.44 goals against average, second best in the Ivy League, followed by Emba's 0.63 in fourth. The duo is No. 3 and 4 among eligible Ancient Eight keepers in save percentage as well.
The Big Red enters the weekend dual with a 6-4 record, on its way to potentially enjoying its first winning season in 12 years. Cornell opened the season with three straight wins over UMass, Marist and VMI to kickstart its campaign. The Big Red is 1-3 in its last four contests, but all three losses have come by just one goal each in tough games at Columbia, versus Wagner and at Colgate.
On the attack, Elizabeth Crowell leads the charge with six goals and a pair of assists for 14 points. Her six tallies have come off just nine shots on goal this season for a .643 SOG%. She's not alone in the scoring ledger though, as Caroline Growney has added four goals and five assists, while six other Big Red student-athletes have found the back of the net as well, providing a deep attack.
Between the posts stands Kelsey Tierney, who has started all 10 games. She's allowed 11 goals (1.12 GAA) but has made 23 saves (.676) to earn a 5-4 record, including three shutouts in her sophomore campaign.
The Crimson will take to the road for three straight Saturdays as Harvard heads to Brown, Princeton and Dartmouth as the regular season begins to settle down.