Senior goaltender Jenn Hatfield and the Crimson will play host to Fairfield on Sunday. (photo courtesy of Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - After a strong showing against UMass Lowell to pick up its third win of the 2013 season, the Harvard field hockey team is set for another nonconference clash as the Fairfield Stags pay a visit to Jordan Field at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network, which was launched in the summer, will stream the match up against Brown this weekend. Subscribers to the network can watch matches both live and on-demand at their convenience, and will have access to live and on-demand content for all home Harvard athletics events throughout the duration of their subscription.
Last Time Out
The Crimson stemmed a three-game losing streak with a dominating performance against UMass Lowell on Wednesday night, defeating the River Hawks, 4-0. Freshman Marissa Balleza had a breakout performance on the road, notching a pair of goals and inserting a penalty corner that led to a third. Junior Caitlin Rea started the scoring barrage with a shot off a penalty corner midway through the first period. After Balleza's two tallies, freshman Sophie van Weede recorded the first goal of her career to cap off the evening at the 49:51 mark to help give Harvard the 4-0 victory. Senior netminder Jenn Hatfield recorded a save on the only shot she faced, a testament to the Crimson defensive performance.
Leading the Crimson Attack
Nine different Crimson have recorded at least one point so far this season, led by Belleza and junior Noel Painter, who each have seven. Sarah Finnemore has recorded six points on a team-high three goals in her collegiate debut. Elizabeth Jacobson and Painter are tied with two goals apiece, while senior Rachael Rosenfeld, juniors Caitlin Rea and Kaitlyn Boudah and freshman Sophie van Weede all have one goal apiece. Painter leads Harvard with three assists this season and owns a team-high .857 shots-on-goal percentage, sending six of her seven total shots on target.
Defending the Cage
Jenn Hatfield has earned every start this season, and rightfully so. The senior boasts 45 saves on the year, allowing a meager 1.67 goals per game compared to a stout, Ivy League-leading .776 save percentage. With Hatfield in the cage, the Crimson has recorded two shutouts this season, also tops in the league. Hatfield ranks 23rd in the country in goals against average and 13th in save percentage.
Utilizing the Underclassmen
Harvard's underclassmen have seized control of the Crimson attack through eight games this season. Freshmen and sophomores have combined to take 58.3-percent of Harvard's total shots (63-108), while netting nine of the Crimson's 14 goals and 20 of 35 total points. The first-year class alone has seven goals, led by Balleza and Finnemore's three tallies each, for 15 points.
Following a 3-2 start to its season, Fairfield has reeled off six wins in a row to get to 9-2. The Stags are coming off a 6-2 win over Vermont in their first conference matchup of the year.
Eleven Stags have registered at least three points this season, led by Felicitas Heinen and Julie DePaeuw, who have 21 and 17, respectively. Heinen has connected on nine goals and owns 21 total points, which is good enough for third in the America East Conference. DePaeuw (eight goals), Ann Burgoyne (five goals), Shealyn Testa (four goals) and Hilary Fits (three goals) round out the Stags' top-5 point-earners so far this season. In total, Fairfield has recorded 37 goals, second only behind Albany's 50 in the America East.
Caitlin Bennett holds down the fort in the cage, having played every minute for the Stags this season. Bennett has 58 saves this year, while allowing 23 goals. Her 9-2 record is bolstered by a 1.98 goals allowed average and a .716 save percentage on the year. The freshman has recorded one shutout in 2013 as well.
All-Time Against the Stags
Harvard and Fairfield are not too familiar with one another on the field hockey pitch, as the two squads have only met twice before. The Crimson took the first series meeting, 7-1, in 1988 and the second, 6-0, the last time the two met in 1989.
After its bout with Fairfield, Harvard takes to the road for a three-game trip away from Jordan Field. The Crimson will square off with Cornell on Oct. 19, Colgate on Oct. 20 and Boston College on Oct. 23 before returning to Cambridge for a showdown with Ivy League foe Princeton.