Photo of sophomore defender Richard Smith courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications.
Harvard, which moved up to No. 6 in the National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) National poll, matching the highest ranking in program history, travels to Storrs, Conn., to face No. 10 Connecticut Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m.
The Crimson stands at 2-0-0 on the season under Carl Junot, the Virginia B. and James O. Welch '52 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Soccer, who had served as an assistant coach with the program the last two seasons. Harvard defeated Stanford, 2-1, and Massachusetts, 3-2, in games earlier this fall, while the Huskies enter Saturday evening's game with a 3-0-0 mark.
Moving On Up:
After starting the season 2-0-0, the Crimson has climbed from No. 10 to No. 6 in the NSCAA national poll.. Harvard also stands 15th in the Soccer America poll and 20th in the CollegeSoccerNews rankings.
The Crimson and Huskies have met 26 times on the soccer field, with UConn owning a 14-8-4 advantage in the series, which began in 1946. UConn has also won four of the last five games between the schools, including the last three in a row. Last season, the Huskies earned a 4-0 win at home Oct. 14, 2009.
About No. 6 Harvard:
After topping then-No. 13 Stanford, 2-1, in the first ever night game at the new Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium Sept. 4, the Crimson handled Massachusetts, 3-2, in a road game Sept. 6.
In the win over the Minutemen, Scott Prozeller, Brian Rogers and Ross Friedman notched a goal apiece, while Austin Harms made one save to earn the victory in net. Harvard outshot UMass, 12-7, and each team earned three corner kicks.
Rogers leads the Crimson with four points on two goals, while Prozeller is second with three points, having a goal and an assist. Rogers and Friedman have each tallied a game-winning goal, and Kyle Henderson paces the team with two assists. Through two games, Harms owns a 1.50 goals-against average with five saves and a .625 save percentage.
Harvard is outscoring opponents, 5-3, while outshooting teams, 32-22, with a 16-8 edge in shots on goal.
About No. 10 Connecticut
The Huskies, ranked 10th in the Soccer America rankings and sixth in the NSCAA poll, have rattled off three straight wins at home to begin the season. UConn has topped St. Francis (N.Y), 2-0, Sept. 1, Yale, 3-1, Sept. 4 and Manhattan, 6-0, Sept. 7.
In the win over the Jaspers, UConn outshot Manhattan, 25-4, and held a 10-2 advantage in corner kicks. Mamadou Diouf led the Huskies with two goals and was one of five players to find the back of the net in the game.
After three games, Diouf has amassed five goals and an assist for 11 points to lead the team. Carlos Alvarez, Alan Ponce and Max Wasserman have handed out three assists each to tie for the most on the Huskies. In goal, Josh Ford stands at 3-0-0 with one clean sheet and five saves. He also owns a 0.39 goals-against average and .833 save percentage. UConn is outscoring teams, 11-1, and has earned 26 corner kicks, compared to four by opponents.
Senior defenders Jaren LaGreca and Robert Millock are serving as co-captains for Harvard this season.
Harvard is looking to start the season with a 3-0-0 record for the second straight season, after going 6-0-0 to begin the 2009 season.
Quest For Five Straight:
Harvard has reached the NCAA tournament four straight seasons, advancing to the second round three times. The Crimson reached the tournament in five consecutive seasons from 1968-1972, a program record.
The Crimson will fly to Albuquerque, N.M., to face No. 21 UC Santa Barbara in a neutral-site game at New Mexico Sept. 17. Harvard will face the Lobos two days later in a road game Sept. 19.