Harvard Set to Host Monmouth in NCAA Second-Round Matchup at Ohiri Field Sunday
Pictured: Senior defender Kwaku Nyamekye was an unanimous
selection to the All-Ivy League first team.
Photo courtesy: David Silverman Photography
Live Audio (WHRB 95.3 FM-Cambridge)
Complete Ticket Information for Sunday's Game
Akpan, Rogers Sweep Annual Ivy League Honors
Akpan Selected to Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Year
Updated NCAA Bracket
Complete Postseason Media Guide (pdf)
For the first time since 2007, 10th-seeded Harvard will host an NCAA tournament game, as the Crimson will welcome Monmouth to Ohiri Field Sunday for a second-round contest at 1 p.m. The winner of Sunday’s game will advance to the Sweet 16.
How They Got Here:
Harvard won the Ivy League title, earning the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA postseason. The Crimson has reached the NCAA tournament four straight seasons.
Monmouth won the Northeast Conference tournament, defeating Quinnipiac, 2-1, in the championship game. The Hawks topped Connecticut, 4-3, in penalty kicks in the oprning round of the NCAA tournament.
Come Out To The Game:
Ticket prices for Saturday’s game are $10 for adults and $5 for students with a valid college ID and children. The first 100 Harvard undergraduates will be admitted free of charge.
Live game statistics and free live audio will be available at www.GoCrimson.com and www.WHRB.org. Tom Brennan and Brendan Roche will have the call on WHRB (95.3 FM-Cambridge).
Around The Tourney:
Harvard is joined in the NCAA tournament by fellow Ivy League schools Brown, Dartmouth and Princeton. The Bears will host Stony Brook, Princeton will welcome Bucknell and Dartmouth will travel to Boston College in opening round games.
Sunday’s second-round game matches up two of the nation’s best defenses against one another. Harvard entered the tournament ranked 18th with 0.74 goals-against per game, while Monmouth was second, allowing only 0.35 goals per contest.
Harvard In The NCAA Tournament:
The Crimson has now reached the NCAA Championship for four straight years. Harvard owns an 19-15 record all-time in the NCAA tournament. The Crimson has reached the national semifinal four times (1969, ’71, ’86 and ’87), the furthest the team has progressed in the tournament.
In the regular season finale, the Crimson defeated Penn, 1-0, to win the 13th Ivy League title in program history. Freshman Richard Smith, who was named to the All-Ivy League second team, netted the game’s only score at 67:26, while sophomore Austin Harms stopped two shots for his sixth shutout of the season.
With 28 points on 11 goals and six assists, senior co-captain Andre Akpan, who earned Ivy League Player of the Year honors, led Harvard in scoring and was tied with classmate Adam Rousmaniere with the most assists on the squad. Freshman Brian Rogers, the Ivy League Rookie of the Year, ranked second on the Crimson with 17 points and six goals.
Between the pipes, Harms finished the regular season with a 12-3-1 record with a 0.80 goals-against average. He also stopped 53 of 66 shots faced for a save percentage of .803.
The Crimson has scored 29 times this fall, while only surrendering 13 tallies by opponents. Harvard has outscored teams by an 18-8 margin in the second half, while owning an 89-65 advantage in corner kicks.
In its opening-round matchup against Connecticut, the Hawks played the Huskies to a 0-0 tie after two overtimes. In the ensuing penalty kicks, Monmouth converted three, defeating UConn, 4-3.
The Hawks are led offensively by Ryan Kinne, who has scored 10 goals and handed out seven assists for 27 points. Kinne also has six game-winning tallies to his credit. RJ Allen paces the squad with eight assists, while Ryan Clark and Chase Barbieri have netted six goals apiece.
Ryan Meredith owns a 17-1-2 record in net and has the nation’s best goals-against average (0.33). He also has recorded 14 shutouts, including a clean sheet against Connecticut in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The Hawks are outscoring opponents, 36-7, overall, including 17-3 in the first half and 19-4 in the second half. Monmouth boasts the nation’s second-best defense, allowing only 0.33 goals per game. Entering postseason play, Monmouth had earned twice as many corner kicks as opponents, 128-64.
Harvard and Monmouth have never met on the soccer field.
Monmouth Against The Ivy League:
The Hawks are 2-0 against opponents from the Ancient Eight this season, having defeated Cornell, 4-1, Sept. 18 and Princeton, 1-0, Sept. 20. Harvard did not play a team from the Northeast Conference during the regular season.
Harvard Sweeps Ivy League Soccer:
For the first time since 1996, both Harvard soccer teams won the Ivy League title. The Crimson soccer teams have also both qualified for the NCAA tournament the last two seasons.
When The Game Is On the Lines:
Andre Akpan ranked second in the Ivy League with four game-winning tallies, while Brian Rogers stood tied for third with three game-winners to his credit.
State Of Massachusetts:
Harvard owns an 8-1 record in games played in Massachusetts this season. The Crimson was 7-1 at home and also won a non-conference game at Boston College Sept. 7.
Great Beginning, Great Ending:
The Harvard senior class - Andre Akpan, Brian Grimm, Desmond Mitchell, Kwaku Nyamekye and Adam Rousmaniere - won the Ivy League title as freshmen in 2006 and regained the crown this fall.
Harvard Against the NCAA Field:
The Crimson played seven games against teams that reached the 2009 NCAA tournament. Harvard posted a 4-3 record against those squads, having defeated Stony Brook, Boston College, Brown and Dartmouth. The Crimson dropped games to Wake Forest, Connecticut and Princeton.
Among the Ivy League’s Best:
Andre Akpan led the Ivy League in points (28), goals (11) and was tied for first with six assists. Goalkeeper Austin Harms paced the Ancient Eight with six shutouts to his credit. As a team, Harvard led the league with the fewest goals allowed (13) and shutouts (eight).
Harvard boasts an 11-1 record when scoring the game’s first goal this season, but is only 2-2-1 when the opponent gets on the scoreboard first.
The Crimson is 5-1 in its last six contests and has won three straight games (Dartmouth, Columbia and Penn) entering the NCAA tournament.
Defense Wins Games:
The Crimson, which has allowed only 13 goals in 17 games this season (0.76 goals allowed per contest), owns a 13-1-1 record when allowing one goal or less in contests this fall. Harvard is 0-2 when allowing two or more goals in a game.
Vs. Ranked Opponents:
The Crimson has faced five ranked opponents this season, going 3-2 in those games. Harvard defeated No. 14 Boston University, 1-0, Sept. 11, downed No. 15 Brown, 1-0, Oct. 17 and topped No. 21 Dartmouth, 2-1, Oct. 31. The team also lost to No. 3 Wake Forest, 1-0, Sept. 26 and fell to No. 17 Connecticut, 4-0, Oct. 17. Both losses to ranked teams came in road games, while Harvard is 3-0 against ranked opponents at Ohiri Field.
Harvard outscored Ivy League opponents, 9-5, in seven games this fall. In non-conference games, the Crimson owned a 20-8 advantage in goal differential against opponents.
Climbing The All-Time Chart:
With his 11 goals and six assists this season, Andre Akpan has increased his Harvard career points and assists records to 123 and 33, respectively. Akpan also stands second on the all-time Crimson goals list with 45, trailing Chris Ohiri ’64 by only two goals for first in program history.
Harvard On Sunday:
The Crimson has played three games on Sunday this fall, going 3-0. Harvard defeated Army, 4-0, at Ohiri Field Sept. 13 and shut down Penn, 1-0, at Ohiri Field Nov. 15.
During the regular season, Harvard played in four games that went to overtime, posting a 2-1-1 record. The Crimson defeated Yale and Princeton with a golden goal, tied Cornell, and lost to Princeton.
Harvard is currently ranked sixth in the latest Soccer Times poll, matching the highest ranking in program history. Harvard also appears No. 9 in the NSCAA and Soccer America polls, while also appearing 10th in the College Soccer News national ranking.
The Crimson has two Ivy League Rookie of the Year players on its roster. Senior Andre Akpan won the award as a freshman in 2006 and Brian Rogers was named the conference’s top rookie this fall.
On The Sidelines:
Jamie Clark was named The Virginia B. and James O. Welch, Jr. ’52 Head Coach for Harvard Men’s Soccer on February 12, 2008, and is the 13th head coach in the history of the Crimson program. He is 25-9-1 overall and 10-3-1 in the Ivy League so far in his Harvard career. Clark has guided the Crimson to the NCAA tournament in each of his first two seasons, reaching the round of 32 both times.
Joining Clark on the sidelines for their second seasons are assistant coaches Carl Junot and Chris Cahill. Harvard also welcomed volunteer assistant coach Jeffrey Rowland to the program prior to this season.
Six Crimson members were named All-Ivy performers this week.
Senior co-captain and forward Andre Akpan was honored as the Ivy League Player of the Year, while freshman forward Brian Rogers was tabbed the conference Rookie of the Year. The last time Harvard swept the Ivy League’s top honors was in 2006 when Akpan was named the top rookie and Charles Altcheck ’07 took home his second straight nod as Ivy Player of hte Year.
Akpan and senior defender Kwaku Nyamekye were unanimously named to the All-Ivy first team. The Crimson also earned three nods to the All-Ivy League second team, including Rogers, senior co-captain and midfielder Brian Grimm and freshman defender Richard Smith.
Junior Alex Chi received All-Ivy League honorable mention as a midfielder
Forwards Andre Akpan and Brian Rogers combined for 17 goals anad 45 points this season. The 45 points represented 52.9 percent of the team’s offense, while the two combined for 58.6 percent of Harvard’s goals this fall.
The Crimson enters the tournament ranked eight in the nation in won-lost-percentage (.794), 18th in goals-against average (0.74) and 38th in scoring offense (1.71 goals per game). Individually, Andre Akpan stands 13th in goals per game (0.65) and 14th in points per contest (1.65).