No. 20 Harvard field hockey will host rival Yale on Friday night at Berylson Field (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Fresh off shutout wins over Northeastern and UMass last weekend, No. 20 Harvard field hockey (5-1) opens Ivy League play against Yale (3-2) at Berylson Field on Friday at 6 p.m. before heading to No. 18 Maine (7-4) on Sunday at 1 p.m. Both games will air on ESPN+. Free Yard Cups will be available to all Harvard undergraduate students courtesy of The Harvard Shop.
How to Follow
Broadcast: vs. Yale – ESPN+ (Talent: Alex Vispoli, Ben Altsher)
at No. 18 Maine – ESPN+
Live Stats: vs. Yale | at No. 18 Maine
Friday Admission: FREE
What to Know
- Harvard is coming off two dominant defensive efforts against Northeastern (W, 2-0) and UMass (W, 4-0) last weekend, outshooting both opponents by a combined margin of 37-6. Goalkeeper Libby Manela made two saves against Northeastern on Friday to earn her third win of the season and eighth career shutout. Harvard did not allow a shot on goal against UMass, as first year goalkeeper Ellie Shahbo picked up her first career win. Against No. 3 Maryland on Sept. 9, Shahbo made 10 saves against the Terps, the most by a Harvard goalie since 2015 (Issy Davies, 11 saves vs. Maine, 9/13/15).
- Sophomore forward Natalie Sicher earned Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week honors after a breakout game against UMass, recording her first career hat trick. Sicher, who led the team with five shots on goal, scored twice in the first half and once in the second to single-handedly put Harvard up for good.
- Junior Casey Allen has seven points (goal, five assists) on the year and is fifth in the nation with an average of 0.83 assists per game. Bente van Vlijmen (seven goals, assist) leads the Ivy League in goal scoring and is seventh in the nation with an average of 1.17 goals per game.
- Harvard has won its last five meetings against Yale, and is 15-1 in its last 16 Ivy League contests overall. The Crimson leads the all-time series 24-15-7, winning last year's meeting (Sept. 23, 2017) in New Haven, 2-1, on a dramatic overtime goal by Tessel Huibregtsen, the first of her career.
- Maine leads the all-time series against Harvard, 6-2, but the Crimson has won two of the last three meetings between the two teams. Harvard won the last meeting, a 3-1 victory at Berylson Field on Sept. 25, 2016.
- Picked to finish second in the Ivy League in 2018, Harvard is coming off a year in which it set a school record for wins (13), finishing last year 13-4, including a 6-1 record in Ivy League play.
- Harvard finished the 2017 season fifth in the nation and tops in the Ivy League with an average of 3.82 goals per game. Bente van Vlijmen finished season with career best 24 points (11 goals, two assists) and was a Longstreth/NFHCA All-America second team selection for the second straight year.
At The Helm
Tjerk van Herwaarden enters his seventh season as the head coach of Harvard field hockey, with a 60-48 mark overall, and a 24-18 record in Ivy play. The Crimson is 15-1 in its last 16 Ancient Eight contests.
Harvard will continue Ivy League play at Penn next Saturday (Sept. 29) before returning home the next day (Sept. 30) to host Bryant at 2 p.m. Both games will air on ESPN+.