The Crimson will play its last home game of the season on Sunday against Vermont. (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard field hockey team will play its final two home games of the season when the Crimson welcome in Dartmouth on Saturday and Vermont on Sunday for Senior Day, where Harvard's six seniors will be honored for their contributions to the program.
The Crimson (6-8, 1-4 Ivy League) comes into its last home weekend searching for its second Ivy League win. With its six victories on the year, Harvard has already surpassed last season's mark of three wins last season.
In total, 10 Crimson have at least a point this season, led by freshman Marissa Balleza's 21 (9g, 3a) and Noel Painter's 13 (5g, 3a). Freshman Sarah Finnemore and senior Rachel Rosenfeld have each found the back of the net four times to round out Harvard's leading scorers. The freshman class has stepped up immensely in 2013, accounting for 14 of the Crimson's 29 goals and 32 of 76 points, with Balleza, Finnemore and Sophie van Weede leading the way.
In the cage, senior Jenn Hatfield has controlled many games for the Crimson, earning three shutout victories this year. In 14 starts, Hatfield has accumulated 76 saves while allowing 27 goals, for a .738 save percentage and a 2.00 goals allowed per game average, both near the top in the Ivy League.
When It All Comes Together
In Harvard's six victories this season, the Crimson is outscoring opponents 21-7. Including three of Hatfield's shutouts, the defense has limited shot and penalty corner chances for the opposition, giving the offense plenty of opportunities to average its 3.5 goals per game in wins.
The Class of 2014
The Crimson will honor its six seniors on Sunday vs. Vermont. Christy Haughey, Rebecca Houser, Bridget McGillivray, Caroline McNeill and Rachel Rosenfeld have all contributed greatly to Harvard field hockey over their four years and will play in their final home game at Jordan Field against the Catamounts.
Last Time Out
The last time Harvard saw the field was in a thrilling 1-0 victory over crosstown foe Northeastern in Dedham, Mass. The Huskies controlled the pace of the game, out shooting the Crimson, 10-4, in the first half, but Hatfield never wavered and Balleza snuck a shot top-shelf with four minutes remaining in the game to clinch it for Harvard.
The Big Green (6-8, 2-3 Ivy League) visits Cambridge on a two-game win streak, having just downed Vermont, 3-2, and Columbia, 6-2. Dartmouth, which averages nearly three goals per contest, is led on the attack by Ali Savage with her Ivy League-best 38 points (15g, 8a).
Defensively, however, the Big Green gives up the most goals per game in the league at 3.57. Ellen Meyer has allowed 50 through 14 games but has racked up an impressive 90 saves on the year as well for Dartmouth.
Harvard trails in the all-time series between the two schools, 21-14-4, since the first meeting in 1974. The Crimson is looking for its first win over the Big Green since 2007, having dropped the previous five decisions. Last season Dartmouth snared a 4-1 victory over Harvard in Hanover, N.H.
The Catamounts are searching for their first win of the season, entering the weekend with an 0-17 record with a tough schedule. Last week, Vermont suffered a 7-0 setback at home versus No. 20 New Hampshire.
Ashley McDonald and Colleen Slaughter lead the way for the Catamounts with 18 and 16 points, respectively. McDonald's nine scores leads Vermont, followed by Slaughter's six. Only Emily Tilton, Molly Higgins and Maddy Ostrander have added goals for UVM.
Between the posts, Stephanie Zygmunt has made all 17 starts for the Catamounts, allowing 80 goals, but making an incredible 209 saves at a clip of just over 12 per game.
Harvard returns to the field for one final contest as the Crimson travels to New York to take on Columbia in the season finale on Nov. 10 at 12 p.m.