Hannah Wellington and the Crimson visit Fairfield Sunday (Photo: Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – With a week of rest under its belt, the Harvard field hockey team (6-4) will be back in action this Sunday, Oct. 12, visiting the Fairfield Stags (5-8) at University Field at 1 p.m.
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The Crimson last took the field against crosstown rival Boston University on Sunday, Oct. 5, falling to the Terriers, 3-1. The defeat wrapped up a 1-2 week for Harvard, with a 6-0 stomping of UMass Lowell and a 4-3 double overtime loss at Brown occurring prior to the BU matchup.
Upperclassmen and newcomers alike, are contributing to strong offensive efforts each time out for the Crimson. With eight points (3G, 2A) last week, senior Noel Painter moved into the team lead with 14 points (5G, 4A) on the year. Sophomore Marissa Balleza has found the back of the cage six times and is second with 13 points. Junior Elizabeth Jacobson and freshman Ellie Cookson have each reached double digit points as well. Jacobson racked up nine points (4G, 1A) over the three games last week and has 12 overall, while Cookson has a team-best eight assists and one goal for 10 points.
Harvard's defensive unit will look to get back to its shutdown ways after allowing more than one goal in consecutive games for the first time this season against Brown and BU. The Crimson have posted a pair of shutouts this year and have given up no more than one goal in half of its games in 2014. Junior Issy Davies has started all 10 contests in the cage and holds a 1.73 goals-against average.
Hat Trick History
For just the second time in Harvard field hockey history, the Crimson has had two hat tricks in the same season. Jacobson pocketed the first three-goal game of the season in Harvard's 6-0 thumping of UMass Lowell on Sept. 30 and the very next time out, Painter notched three tallies on the road at Brown. The hat tricks were the first of both student-athletes career, and the first time since 1977 that it has happened in the same year. Gwil York '79 and Sarah Mleczko '80 each recorded four goals in a single game that year. Hat tricks have been rare in program history, as Jacobson and Painter were just the 11th and 12th players to accomplish the feat since 1974.
Series History: Fairfield
Sunday's meeting will be just the fourth-ever against the Stags for Harvard. The Crimson is 3-0 against Fairfield with a 17-4 scoring margin in those contests. Harvard and Fairfield met in a home-and-home series in 1988 and 1989, with Harvard taking those games by 7-1 and 6-0 scores, but last season's matchup at Jordan Field was much closer. Harvard used a Jacobson goal in the first overtime to top the Stags, 4-3.
About The Stags
Fairfield is entering the home stretch of its 2014 campaign, with just three regular season games remaining after Sunday's tilt. The Stags will visit the Maine Black Bears in an America East clash Friday, Oct. 10 at 3 p.m. before returning home to host the Crimson. It will be just the second league game for the Stags, having fallen at home to New Hampshire, 3-2, on October 3. Harvard will be the third game this year against an Ivy League team for Fairfield, having already lost road games to Penn and Columbia in September.
Despite its losing record (5-8), Fairfield has outscored opponents, 28-27, this year. Unfortunately, all four overtime games the Stags have played in this year have gone in favor of their opponents. Sophomore Ann Burgoyne has accounted for just shy of half of all of Fairfield's goals this year. She has 13 strikes for a team-best 26 points. Senior Felicitas Heinen is next up with five goals and five helpers.
Time in the cage has been split nearly evenly between sophomore Caitlin Bennett and freshman Emma Ball. Ball has posted the higher save percentage at .764, while Bennett leads the way with a 2.5 GAA.
Weekly Ivy League Honors
Sept. 9 - Noel Painter – Honor Roll
Sept. 16 – Ellie Cookson, Issy Davies – Honor Roll
Sept. 23 – Ellie Cookson, Marissa Balleza – Honor Roll
Sept. 30 – Marissa Balleza – Honor Roll
Oct. 7 – Noel Painter, Elizabeth Jacobson – Honor Roll