CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – No. 14 Harvard field hockey (2-2) returns to Berylson Field on Sunday (Sept. 22) to host Maine (1-4) in nonconference play.
The Crimson is coming off a 3-2 road win at UMass, with sophomore Rachel Greenwood providing the deciding goal with 3:43 to go in the third quarter. Harvard outshot the Minutewomen, 14-6, for te contest.
What to Know
- Harvard and Maine will meet for the 10th time in field hockey, with Maine owning a 6-3 advantage in the series. Harvard has won the last two meetings, including a 4-1 win last season on Sept. 23, 2018. In that contest Maddie Earle notched her first career hat trick to help lead the Crimson past the Black Bears.
- The Crimson has played ranked opponents in three of its first four contests (No. 22 Albany, No. 4 UConn, No. 18 Stanford, and is playing perhaps its toughest schedule to date, with games against No. 6 Princeton, No. 13 Liberty, No. 17 Boston College, and No. 25 Boston University to come.
- Senior Casey Allen (goal, two assists), and sophomore Rachel. Greenwood (two goals) lead Harvard in scoring…Sophomore goalkeeper Ellie Shahbo (2-1) has started all four games, and leads the Ivy League with a 1.59 goals-against average.
- The Crimson returns five of its top seven scorers from a season ago, including four-year standout and Longstreth/NFHCA All-American Bente van Vlijmen, the Ivy League Co-Offensive Player of the Year. Harvard also returns the bulk of a strong defensive unit (No. 2 NCAA) - led by junior defender Hannah Pearce and sophomore goalkeeper Ellie Shahbo (both All-Ivy) - that allowed .74 goals per game, with 10 shutouts. Junior Mimi Tarrant and senior Bente van Vlijmen will captain the 2019 team.
- Senior forward Maddie Earle was the Ivy League scoring champion in 2018, finishing the year with 38 points (16 goals, six assists). A First Team All-Ivy selection, Earle had 14 goals in her last 12 games, including hat tricks against No. 18 Maine and Cornell, and was a big part of Harvard's fourth-ranked scoring offense (3.68 goals per game).
- Harvard finished the 2018 season at 17-2 (7-0 Ivy League), as the team won its fifth Ivy League title, earned its sixth NCAA Tournament bid, and reached the NCAA Quarterfinals for the first time ever. Harvard set school marks for wins (17) and wins in a row (14), and had the highest national ranking (No. 6) since the program's inception in 1974.
At The Helm
Tjerk van Herwaarden, who won five national championships in seven seasons on the coaching staff at Maryland, took over as head coach at Harvard in 2012, and has quickly led the program to new heights. He enters his eighth season with the Crimson in 2019. In 2018, Harvard field hockey recorded its best season in program history, with van Herwaarden taking home Ivy League Coach of the Year honors, and his staff named the NFHCA Northeast Region Coaching Staff of the Year. The Crimson finished the year at 17-2 (7-0 Ivy League), recording its best season in program history as the Crimson won its fifth Ivy League title, and earned its sixth NCAA Tournament bid, reaching the NCAA Quarterfinals for the first time ever with a 6-1 win over No. 9 Penn State in the first round. Nine individuals earned All-Ivy League honors with a conference-best five players on the All-Ivy First Team.