Photo courtesy Gil Talbot
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The Harvard field hockey team will take the Columbus Day weekend off from Ivy League play for a cross-country trip to take on No. 17 Stanford and California. The Crimson meets the Cardinal Friday at 5 p.m. Pacific (8 p.m. Eastern) and the Golden Bears Sunday at 1 p.m. (4 p.m. Eastern).
The Crimson (3-7) suffered a 3-2, double-overtime loss Saturday at Brown despite rallying from two goals down in the second half. Katelin Wahl and Chloe Keating scored for Harvard, while Cynthia Tassopoulos made six saves. A day later, Harvard fell to visiting Bucknell, 3-0, at Jordan Field. Tassopoulos recorded five saves, but the Bison scored twice in the first half and once in the second.
Cynthia Tassopoulos owns the second-lowest goals-against average among Ivy League goalkeepers at 1.87 and the third-highest save percentage at .747. She ranks fourth among Ivy goalies with 5.90 saves per game.
Chloe Keating leads Harvard with five goals and 14 points and is tied for 10th in scoring among Ivy Leaguers. She is tied with Carly Dickson for the team assists lead at four, whose team-high 32 shots are tied for fifth in the Ancient Eight. Dickson ranks second on the squad with eight points, and Emma Keller ranks second with three goals.
This will be Harvard's first trip to the West Coast. The Crimson previously defeated Stanford, 1-0, in a 1998 neutral-site game at Boston College and posted home wins against Cal in 1995, 2000 and 2002. Harvard held the Golden Bears to two total goals in those three games.
Scouting the Cardinal
Stanford owns a 4-2 win against then-eighth-ranked Wake Forest, and two of its losses have come at the hands of top-10 opponents North Carolina and Michigan State. The other defeat came to rival Cal, 2-1, Sept. 26, but the Cardinal bounced back in its next NorPac game, a 2-1 overtime win Saturday at UC Davis. Stephanie Byrne netted the overtime winner against the Aggies and leads a balanced Stanford offense with five goals and 11 points. Jaimee Erickson paces the squad with three assists. Alessandra Moss has started nine games in goal and has a .727 save percentage and 1.44 goals-against average.
Scouting the Golden Bears
Stanford has the national ranking, but it is Cal (5-5) that owns a head-to-head win against the Cardinal and sits in first place in the NorPac West standings at 4-0 in conference play. The Bears' last win also came in overtime at UC Davis, but they have since been swept on a road trip to highly ranked Wake Forest and North Carolina. Claire Dougherty is Cal's most potent scoring threat, with seven goals on just 14 shots this season. She also has a team-best 15 points, while Deanna Kennedy leads the team with eight assists. Maddie Hand has started every game in goal, posting a .667 save percentage and 2.44 goals-against average.