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No. 6 Crimson Visits New Hampshire in Midweek Non-Conference Matchup

Pictured: Junior Robert Millock and the sixth-ranked Crimson hit the road for a game at New Hampshire Wednesday
Photo courtesy: DSPics.com.

Live Statistics
Akpan Named Top Drawer Soccer National Player of the Week

The Game:
The sixth-ranked Harvard men’s soccer team looks to continue its five game-win streak to start the season as the squad visits New Hampshire Wednesday afternoon. The Crimson is one of five remaining teams in the nation with a perfect record and is hoping to tie its best start since 2007 when the team began the year 6-0.

Follow From Home:
Once again, live statistics will be available for all Harvard home games and most road contests this season.

The Matchup:
Harvard is coming off a 4-1 victory at Fairfield Saturday evening, as the Crimson was led by Andre Akpan’s third two-goal effort of the season. Akpan also assisted on the game-winning goal by Brian Rogers, while Austin Harms made one save for his fifth win of the year. The Wildcats defeated Colgate, 2-1, Saturday to improve to 2-3-1 on the season. UNH netted two goals in the first half, one each by Sean Coleman and Joe Annese. Goalkeeper John O’Connell stopped five shots in net.

The Crimson and Wildcats have met six times on the soccer field, with Harvard owning a 4-2 advantage in the series, but UNH has taken two of the last three meetings. Last season, Akpan scored twice and Michael Fucito ’09 added a goal to guide Harvard to a 3-1 win at Ohiri Field on Sept. 23, 2008.

About Harvard:
After scoring two goals in the last two games, Andre Akpan, who ranks second in the country with 3.20 points per game and 1.20 goals per contest, paces the Crimson with six goals, four assists and 16 points. Brian Rogers has three goals and three assists for nine points, while Desmond Mitchell is third in points with six (two goals, two assists). In five games this season, Harvard has had five different players tally game-winning goals (Akpan, Rogers, Mitchell, Jamie Rees and Scott Prozeller).

Between the pipes, Austin Harms stands 5-0 with two shutouts and a miniscule 0.42 goals-against average. He has stopped 18 of 20 shots he has faced for a .900 save percentage, placing him 15th in the nation in that category.

Harvard owns a 2-0 record on the road and is also perfect at home, going 3-0 so far. The Crimson is outscoring opponents, 15-2, including 9-1 in the second half of games. Harvard ranks third in the nation with 3.00 goals per game and 12th in goals-against average with a 0.40 mark.

About New Hampshire:
Chris Banks (one goal, one assist) and Sean Coleman (one goal, one assist) lead the team in scoring, while Jordan Thomas, Dylan George and Joe Annese have also tallied goals. In net, Colin O’Connell owns a 2-2-1 record with one blank sheet and a 0.85 goals-against average. Chris Devine has also seen time, going 0-1 with a 2.00 goals-against mark.

National Recognition:
With its perfect 5-0 start, the Crimson appears No. 6 in the Soccer America national poll, No. 8 in the NSCAA poll, No. 9 in the College Soccer News ranking, No. 11 in the Soccer Times poll and No. 18 in the Top Drawer Soccer poll. With its No. 6 ranking, Harvard has tied its highest position in a national poll, which first occurred during the 2007 season. The Crimson also earned individual national accolades this week, as Andre Akpan was named the Top Drawer Soccer National Player of the Week, while also garnering a nod on the College Soccer News National Team of the Week.

Defense Wins Games:
Through five games this season, the Crimson has only surrendered two goals for a team goals-against average of 0.40. During that same span, Harvard has mustered 15 goals, or 3.00 per game.

Up Next:
The Crimson will travel to No. 3 Wake Forest in a battle of top 10 teams Saturday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m.