No. 6 Harvard field hockey will take on No. 13 Boston College and Dartmouth this week. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – No. 6 Harvard field hockey (13-1, 5-0 Ivy League) carries a 10-game winning streak into games against No. 13 Boston College (9-7) and Dartmouth (6-8, 2-3 Ivy League) this week. Harvard will host Boston College on Thursday at 6 p.m. before heading to Dartmouth on Saturday for a 1 p.m. contest. Both games will air on ESPN+. Harvard has won 20 of its last 21 Ivy League contests, and is seeking a program record 14th win.
What to Know
· With its current 10-game winning streak, the Crimson have had winning streaks of six games or more in each of the last three seasons. This current streak surpassed the previous program record set in 2016.
· Harvard came in at No. 6 in the latest Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll, its highest national ranking. Harvard is also ranked No. 6 in the NCAA RPI rankings. Harvard has the chance to make more history this year, as it is a win shy of surpassing program mark (13) set last year. Harvard currently has the second highest winning percentage (.929) 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 (0.79) and it has seven shutouts this season, also third in the country. Harvard is fifth in the nation in scoring offense (3.57 goals per game), led by juniors Bente van Vlijmen (11 goals, five assists) and Maddie Earle (12 goals, two assists). Bente van Vlijmen leads the Ivy League in scoring (27 points) is on pace to near 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 10 goals in her last eight contests.
· Harvard earned a statement win at No. 3 Princeton last Saturday, the program's first over a top-5 opponent. The win over the Tigers was keyed by sophomore Tessel Huibregtsen and Ellie Shahbo, who were named Ivy League Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively. Huibregtsen set up Harvard's first goal with a clean penalty corner injection on Bente van Vlijmen's goal at 5:46 of the 1st half. Huibregtsen put the game out of reach with a rebound goal at 44:45, as the Crimson went on to win 3-1 against the Tigers. Shahbo (7-1, 0.75 GAA) made four saves in Harvard's victory on Saturday and has won seven straight starts (UMass, Yale, Maine, Penn, BU, Cornell, Princeton), allowing just three goals in that span.
· Boston College leads the all-time series against Harvard, 22-12-1, with the Crimson looking for its first win over the Eagles since 2003. Harvard has won four straight games in the series against Dartmouth, with the Big Green leading the series 23-17-4.
At The Helm
Tjerk van Herwaarden is in his seventh season as the head coach of Harvard field hockey, with a 68-48 mark overall, and a 29-18 record in Ivy play.
Harvard will host Columbia next Saturday (Nov. 3) on Senior Day. The game will air on ESPN+.