Harvard is looking to improve on its 1-3-1 record so far this season (Gil Talbot).
The Harvard men's soccer team looks to get back its winning ways as the team heads west to take on California Poly Friday and No. 3 UC Santa Barbara Sunday in a pair of non-conference contests.
Harvard will be facing Cal Poly for the first time in team history. The contest marks the third time in four games that the Crimson has squared off against a first-time opponent.
The all-time series with UC Santa Barbara is only two games old, with the first contest coming in 2007. In that game, the Crimson and Gauchos tied 1-1 at the Loyola Marymount Tournament. The last time the two teams played, UCSB captured a 2-0 victory Sept. 17, 2010 at the Lobo Classic. Sunday's game will be the first time the teams have played on either squad's home turf.
About the Crimson
Harvard embarks on is trip westward with a 1-3-1 record on the season. In its first homestand of the season, Harvard managed a 1-2-0 record, including a 1-0 defeat of Michigan State in its home opener, followed by a heartbreaking, 3-2 double-overtime, loss to SMU.
Harvard's four goals have come from four different players this season. Rookies Jake Freeman and Oliver White have both found the back of the net, while sophomore Hiroki Kobayashi and senior co-captain Scott Prozeller have also scored for Harvard. Sophomore fullback David Barna has logged the only assist on the season, delivering the corner kick that Prozeller headed home against SMU. Evan Mendez has been the go-to keeper this season, and the freshman brings a 1-2-1 record, along with a 2.11 goals-against average, into the California trip.
Scouting the Mustangs
Cal Poly enters the Harvard game with a 4-2-0 record on the season. After dropping their first two games of the season, the Mustangs have rattled off four straight wins, outscoring opponents 9-2 during that stretch. Their most recent victory came over Army Sept. 16, a 1-0 victory.
Mackenzie Pridham has been an offensive catalyst for the Mustangs this season, as he holds the team lead with three goals and six points. Chris Bernanrdi and Chris Gaschen are tied for second on the team with five points (2g, 1a) each, while George Malki and Matt LaGrassa hold the team lead with a pair of assists each. Goalies Chase Hauser and Wade Hamilton have split time so far this season with Hauser boasting nine saves, a 3-0-0 record and a 0.67 goals-against average.
Scouting the Gauchos
USCB represents the second top-five opponent for Harvard in its last three games. The Gauchos enter the weekend unbeaten with a 5-0-1 record, having logged victories in their last four games prior to this weekend. Its most recent win came at Seattle Sunday, where three first-half goals powered UCSB to a 6-2 win, its largest win of the season.
Ten different players have logged goals for the Gauchos this season, fronted by junior Achille Campion who has scored five goals and compiled a team-high 11 points on the season. Nic Ryan is second on the team with three goals and seven points while junior Dom Sarle holds the team assists lead with four this year. Freshman goalie Austin Mansker has seen the lion's share of the work so far this season, and brings a 0.87 goals-against average into the weekend.
Harvard returns home for another three-game homestand, beginning with a 7 p.m. game against archrival Yale Sept. 29 at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium.