Marissa Balleza has led Harvard in scoring each of the last two seasons (Gil Talbot).
Harvard vs. Bryant (0-3)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard field hockey sets its sights on the 2015 season this weekend, opening the year with a road contest at Holy Cross Friday evening before hosting Bryant Monday in its home opener. Friday's tilt in Worcester is slated for a 7:30 p.m. start and Monday's game at Jordan Field will start at 1 p.m. and be streamed live on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a third season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Digital Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
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 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 four platforms into one convenient location, allowing fans of all Harvard Athletics teams to monitor the action in real time.
Despite graduating four talented players from a 2014 squad that went 10-7 overall and 4-3 in the Ancient Eight, the Crimson returns a plethora of talent led by captains Caroline Code and Elizabeth Jacobson. Replacing the four departed seniors are six freshmen and a junior transfer to bring this season's roster to 23 players.
A season ago, the Crimson opened the year with consecutive wins over Bryant and Holy Cross, both at home. Harvard edged the Bulldogs, 3-2, behind two goals from junior Marissa Balleza. The Crimson then blanked Holy Cross, 4-0, as sophomore Hannah Wellington netted a pair of goals.
Building a Winner
Head coach Tjerk van Herwaarden has seen a steady improvement in the Crimson's success on the pitch since he took over the program in 2012. After a 3-13 first season, Harvard posted a 10-7 record last year, it's first double-digit win season since 2004.
Filling the Stat Sheet
The Crimson returns its top goal scorer and team leader in assists from 2014. Junior Marissa Balleza has led the team in goals each of her two years on campus. As a freshman in 2013 she posted 12 scores and then followed that up with nine more last season. With just one more goal she will move into a tie for ninth on the all-time scoring list in program history.
Ellie Cookson made a name for herself last year in her rookie campaign, tallying 11 assists, tied for fifth-most in a single season in Harvard history. Jacobson and Wellington each also return to the field after recording 16 points (6g, 4a) and 13 points (4g, 5a), respectively, last season.
Last Line of Defense
Senior Issy Davies started in all 17 games in 2014, posting a 1.36 goals-against average and a .716 save percentage. She is joined on the roster by sophomoreOlivia Startup, who saw action in two contests a year ago, and freshman Libby Manela.
Scouting Holy Cross
The Crusaders host Harvard on the Hart Turf Field Friday, sporting a 1-1 record after the first week of action. Holy Cross dropped Siena, 3-1, to start the year, but was shutout by Maine, 2-0, on August 29. Freshman Emily Loprete paced the Crusaders with two goals against Siena, with senior Michelle McNeil scoring the third. Freshman Megan Inch made five stops in goal.
First-year head coach Lindsay Jackson takes over a Holy Cross squad that finished 3-16 overall and in last place in the Patriot League with an 0-6 mark.
The Bulldogs opened the season with a three-game swing through California, losing games at Pacific, California and UC Davis. Pacific dispatched of Bryant, 4-0, and Cal pulled away with a 7-2 victory. The game against UC Davis proved to be a much closer affair with the game-winner coming just under 15 minutes in overtime by Jamie Garcia. Prior to playing Harvard Monday, Bryant will take on Colgate Saturday in a neutral game in Providence, R.I.
Junior Victoria Danby has accounted for three of Bryant's four goals thus far. Sophomore Keighan Richardson is the other goal-scorer for the Bulldogs, while senior Nicole Plante has a team-best two assists. Goaltending duties have been split between senior Jenna Limone and freshman Marissa Elizardo with the duo combining for a 4.36 GAA and a .440 save percentage.