The Crimson looks to remain unbeaten in Ivy play this Saturday. (Penny Ashford)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Still clinching on to the top spot in the Ivy League standings, the Harvard men's soccer team looks to keep the momentum rolling this weekend with another Ancient Eight duel on the road. The Crimson (8-3-1, 2-0-1 Ivy) will head south to Princeton to take on the Tigers (6-3-3, 1-1-1 Ivy) in a Saturday night showdown.
Ivy League Digital Network
After an incredibly successful inaugural year that saw over 1,000 events streamed live, The Ivy League Digital Network has returned for 2014-15, providing fans with unprecedented coverage of the Ivy League.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.
Use the all new Social Stream on GoCrimson.com to stay connected with the Crimson on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube this year. The Social Stream brings the conversation from all three platforms into one convenient location, allowing fans of all Harvard Athletics teams to monitor the action in real time.
Last Time Out
With its 1-1 draw at Brown on Saturday, the Crimson saw its eight-game win-streak snap, but Harvard is still unbeaten in its last nine contests this season. Tim Schmoll, the Ivy League Player of the Week, got things rolling for Harvard with a nifty play in the box at the 16-minute mark, but Brown's Ben Maurey evened the ledger in the 49th minute to give the split decision. Evan Mendez was huge down the stretch in keeping things alive, recording three of his four saves in the final 30 minutes of action.
Proving that Harvard's ability to find the back of the net is no fluke – 22 goals over its nine-game unbeaten streak – there is no one leading scorer on the field for the Crimson; there are five. After Schmoll sent in his third of the year on Saturday he drew in the five-way tie with a bevy of Crimson.
Hiroki Kobayashi has been a recent threat with his three scores – two of which have been game winners. Kyle Henderson was strong in the season's early going, scoring all three of his goals in the first four games for Harvard. Fellow co-captain Kyle Ashby recorded his first career goal in the win over Hartford and hasn't looked back, including heading home the game-winner in the 1-0 victory over Yale.
Daniel Smith owns three markers himself this season, all in exciting fashion. Smith tallied the first Harvard goal in the 3-2 win over Boston College, and sent in the tying goals in both the 3-2 wins over UMass and Northeastern.
Harvard has an Ivy League-best 29 assists this season, and the freshman class has accounted for a grand total of 15 of them. Christian Sady has been impressive in the middle for Harvard, owning a team-high five helpers, while Sam Brown has been a key cog in the set piece execution, dishing out four assists, along with fellow classmate Nate Devine. Tyler Savitsky, who also has seen a fair amount of crucial minutes, has helped on two scores this season.
Mind the Keeper
After an unfortunate start – allowing six goals in the first three games to stiff competition – Harvard goalkeeper Evan Mendez has settled down in a big way. Mendez has let through just eight goals in the Crimson's last nine games, including two whitewashes of Ivy League foes Yale and Cornell. His efforts combined with Joe Festa's solid time between the posts gives Harvard four total clean sheets in 2014.
Princeton sits in a three-way tie with Columbia and Brown in third place in the Ivy League standings with its 1-1-1 League record. The Tigers, 6-3-3 on the year, have been on a roll of late, going 3-0-1 over their last four contests, with wins over Rutgers, Brown and Loyola, while drawing with Columbia, 1-1, last week.
PU has two of the Ivy League's three most potent scorers in Cameron Porter and Thomas Sanner. Proter has a League-best nine goals, adding three assists for 21 points, while Sanner owns seven markers and a pair of assists for 16 points this season. Julian Griggs and Joe Saitta have added two goals apiece, while Nico Hurtado, Brendan McSherry and Andrew Doar round out the Princeton scorers with one goal each.
In net, Ben Hummel has seen all but just seven minutes of action this season, allowing 18 goals (1.41 GAA) while picking up 48 saves (.727) to earn the 6-3-3 record.
After the bout with Princeton, Harvard will have one more test out of conference as Stony Brook pays a midweek visit to Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium on Tuesday. After that, the Crimson turns its full attention to the last three Ancient Eight foes, at Dartmouth, versus Columbia for Senior Day and at Penn to wrap things up in the regular season.