Elizabeth Warner and the Crimson face a critical matchup at No. 11 Princeton Saturday (Mark Manela).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Riding high on a six-game win streak and its ascension into the national poll, No. 20 Harvard field hockey heads south for a crucial Ivy League matchup at No. 11 Princeton and an out-of-conference tilt at Lafayette this weekend. Saturday's noon contest at Princeton will be shown live on the Ivy League Digital Network, while Sunday's 2 p.m. contest at Lafayette will be broadcast on Campus Insiders.
Last Time Out
The Crimson put on an offensive clinic last Saturday, rolling to a 5-0 victory over visiting Cornell at Berylson Field. Kyla Cordrey and Emily Ott each scored their first career goals in the first half to give Harvard a 2-0 halftime lead. Marissa Balleza scored twice in the second half to break the all-time goals and points record in program history and Hannah Wellington capped the scoring with her third of the season. Libby Manela and Callie Rennyson combined for the shutout in goal.
Cracking the Polls
For the first time since the September 20, 2005, Harvard field hockey finds itself ranked in the NFCHA Division I Coaches Poll. The Crimson moved into No. 20 on in this week's national poll, matching the same spot it was slotted in the first poll of the 2005 season. To view the whole poll, click HERE.
Harvard is also slotted No. 12 in the most recent RPI rankings from the NCAA. The Crimson is 3-2 against teams ranked in the top-30 of the RPI with matchups against No. 10 Princeton and No. 13 Boston College remaining on the schedule.
Harvard has shutout its last two opponents, downing Brown, 1-0, and Cornell, 5-0. Opponents have gone 147:32 minutes since finding the back of the cage against the Crimson.
Sophomore Libby Manela has been a catalyst in goal during Harvard's current six game win streak. Her 0.85 goals-against average is the top mark in all of NCAA Division I field hockey, while her 0.800 save percentage ranks second.
Six In a Row
With its triumph over Cornell, the Harvard field hockey team has won six-straight games for the first time since 1990. It is also just the third such streak in program history, having also occurred in 1976 and is the longest such stretch in the program's history.
Rewriting the Record Books
Senior Marissa Balleza become Harvard's all-time leader in career goals and points over the weekend with her five-point performance against Cornell. Balleza's two goals help her set a new program standard with 44 tallies, while her 103 points eclipsed the previous mark of 102. Judy Collins '99 held both record previously.
Keep the Awards Coming
For the fourth week in a row, a Harvard student-athlete was recognized as the Ivy League's Player of the Week. The Crimson has garnered six weekly awards this season.
Sept. 26 – Libby Manela, Player of the Week
Sept. 26 – Bente van Vlijmen, Rookie of the Week
Oct. 3 – Marissa Balleza, Player
Oct. 3 – Bente van Vlijmen, Rookie
Oct. 10 – Libby Manela, Player
Oct. 17 – Marissa Balleza, Co-Player
Battle of Unbeatens
Harvard and Princeton are deadlocked atop the Ivy League standings with 4-0 records entering Saturday's matchup.
The Tigers moved to 9-5 on the year and remained ranked 11th in the NFHCA Poll after downing Brown, 5-1, and Towson, 8-0, last weekend at home. Senior Cat Caro recorded a hat trick in each of the victories to share Player of the Week accolades with Balleza. Caro's 13 goals and 28 points this season paces the Ivy League. Junior Ryan McCarthy is right on Caro's heels with 11 goals and 26 points.
Freshman Grace Baylis has played every minute in goal for the Tigers, posting a 1.42 GAA and a 0.667 save mark. Her goals-against mark is second in the Ancient Eight to Manela's 0.85.
The all-time series has heavily favored Princeton, as the Tigers hold a 37-5-2 advantage and is on a 22-game win streak against the Crimson dating back to 1994. Each of the last two meetings has been decided by one goal.
The Leopards enter the weekend at 7-7 overall and 2-2 in Patriot League games. They will take on Bucknell on the road Saturday before hosting Harvard on Sunday. After starting the year 5-1, Lafayette has dropped each of its last four games, including loses to No. 19 American and No. 17 James Madison last week.
Senior Amanda Magadan is the only Leopard player with double-digit points this season at 16 (7G, 2A). Fellow Senior Katelyn Arnold is started all 14 games in goal and has a 2.61 GAA and 0.659 save percentage.
Harvard and Lafayette have met just twice in the past with the all-time series even at 1-1. Harvard won the most recent meeting on Sept. 4, 2011, 3-2, in overtime. The Leopards took the first meeting in 1990, 1-0, also in overtime.
Six freshmen joined the Crimson this fall, bringing the roster tally to 24 student-athletes. Four different states, as well as New Zealand and The Netherlands are represented in the class of 2020. The newcomers are Casey Allen, Maddie Earle, Grace Geiger, Olivia Ostrover, Callie Rennyson and Bente van Vlijmen.
Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a fourth 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. The ILDN is also available on Apple TV and Roku. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.
Berlyson Family Field Hockey Field
Harvard field hockey will commence the 2016 season on it new home turf known as Berylson Family Field Hockey Field. Located north of the Beren Tennis Center, Berylson Field was constructed this summer thanks to the generous support of John G. Berylson, MBA '79 and his wife Amy S. Berylson '75, MBA '79.
Head coach Tjerk van Herwaarden welcomed a pair of new assistant coaches to his staff last spring, bringing on Marvin Bam and Katie O'Donnell Bam. The duo joins Harvard after both were members of the coaching staff at Millersville. Each brings a wealth of international experience, as Bam garnered 98 international caps and represented his home country of South Africa in the 2008 Olympics. O'Donnell Bam has been a member of USA Field Hockey for 11 years and played for Team USA at this summer's Olympic Games in Rio, scoring five goals. She played her collegiate career at Maryland where she was a four-time All-American.