No. 11 Harvard field hockey hosts Cornell on Saturday for the team's Alumnae Weekend. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – No. 11 Harvard field hockey (11-1, 3-0 Ivy League) has won its last eight games and could set a new program record for wins in a row on Saturday when it hosts Cornell (3-8, 0-3 Ivy League) on Saturday at Berylson Field. Harvard has won 18 of its last 19 Ivy League contests, and is 5-0 in home games this season.
How to Follow
Broadcast: vs. Cornell – ESPN+
Talent: Bill Spaulding, Alex Vispoli
Live Stats: vs. Cornell
What to Know
· With its current eight-game winning streak, the Crimson have had winning streaks of six games or more in each of the last three seasons. This current streak matches the program record set in 2016.
· For the second week in a row, Harvard is ranked No. 11 in the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll, its highest national ranking in program history. Harvard has the chance to make more history this year, as it is two wins shy of the program wins mark (13) set last year. Harvard currently has the third highest winning percentage (.917) in the nation.
· Harvard's great start has been keyed by fantastic defensive play, and a balanced scoring attack. Harvard's team goals-against average is third in the nation (0.83). Harvard is 10th in the nation in scoring offense (3.25 goals per game), led by juniors Bente van Vlijmen (nine goals, five assists) and Maddie Earle (nine goals, two assists). Bente leads the Ivy League in scoring (23 points) is on pace to threaten the single season program scoring record (42 points) held by Judy Collins '99 and Shelley Maasdorp '05. Earle has been fantastic for the Crimson of late, with seven goals in her last six contests.
· Harvard was challenged in games against Brown and No. 23 Boston University last weekend. Senior captain Kathleen Young scored a late second half goal to help break a 2-2 tie in Harvard's win at Brown on Friday. Second half goals by Earle and first year Rachel Greenwood were the difference on Sunday against BU. Senior goalkeeper Libby Manela earned the win against Brown, improving to 5-0 on the year. First-year goalkeeper Ellie Shahbo has won five straight starts (UMass, Yale, Maine, Penn, BU), allowing just two goals in that span. 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).
· Junior Casey Allen has 10 points (goal, eight assists) and is 11th in the nation with an average of .67 assists per game. Harvard is sixth in the nation overall with an average of 3.00 assists per game.
· Harvard leads the all-time series against Cornell 27-13-4, and has won the last two meetings against the Big Red, including a 4-3 (OT) win last season in Ithaca.
At The Helm
Tjerk van Herwaarden enters his seventh season as the head coach of Harvard field hockey, with a 66-48 mark overall, and a 27-18 record in Ivy play.
Harvard will travel to No. 3 Princeton for a 12 p.m. contest next Saturday (Oct. 20). The game will air on ESPN+.