Harvard is in search of its first Ivy win of the season Saturday (Photo Credit: Justine Agaloos).
The Harvard men's soccer team begins a five-game road stretch as it travels to Providence, R.I., to take on Ivy foe No. 19 Brown Saturday. The Bears represent Harvard's second straight ranked league opponent and fourth ranked team overall.
In a series laden with history, the Crimson holds a 46-28-12 advantage in 86 all-time matchups. Harvard captured the first four meetings between the teams, with the inaugural contest ending in a 4-0 victory for the Crimson. Recently, the teams have traded results with the Crimson holding a 2-1-1 record in the last four matchups. Last season in Cambridge, the Bears squeaked out a 1-0 victory, their first victory over the Crimson since 2007.
Last Time Out
A strong first half from the home team saw Harvard enter the break tied 1-1 with No. 18 Cornell, but to second half goals by the Big Red proved to be the difference as the Crimson fell, 3-1 Saturday at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium. The guests struck first just nine and a half minutes into the contests but a strong effort by freshman Oliver White knotted the score at 1-1 before halftime. A high arcing ball was sent into the box and after the Cornell goalie failed to collect the pass, White deposited the loose ball into the back of the net for his second tally of the season. Goals in the 63rd and 76th minutes gave the Big Red a 3-1 edge and the game ended with that score.
About the Crimson
Harvard enters the Brown game with an overall mark of 1-6-3 to go along with an Ivy record of 0-1-1. Forwards Hiroki Kobayashi and Oliver White share the team lead in goals (2) and points (4) while Zack Wolfenzon is close behind in points with three, on a goal and an assist. Wolfenzon also has a team-high 21 shots on the year.
Joe Festa has seen the majority of action in goal this year and holds a 1.50 goals-against average to go along with 25 saves. The Harvard defense has been strong this season, allowing more than one goal in just four contests this year.
The Bears are the second-highest ranked team in the Ivy League behind No. 16 Cornell, and boast an 8-1-2 overall record along with a 1-0-1 Ivy League mark. While Brown has tied its last two contests, it is undefeated in its last seven games, with its lone loss of the season coming Sept. 9 in a 1-0 game against Fordham. Brown has been solid defensively this year, as six of its eight wins have been shutout victories, good for the nation's fourth-best shutout percentage at 0.64.
Thomas McNamara leads a balanced Brown scoring attack with eight points on three goals and two assists. Voltaire Escalona ranks second with six points, and is the team's assists leader with four on the season. In all, Brown has 10 players that have scored this season, and 12 that have registered a point. Sam Schloss Kernan has been rock steady in goal for the Bears, playing all but four minutes this season. He boasts a 0.52 goals-against average, good for seventh in the nation, and has logged 23 saves on the year.
Harvard's next game is a midweek non-conference matchup, as the Crimson takes on Boston University at Nickerson Field Oct. 16 in a 7 p.m. game.