Harvard looks to make it two in a row over Cornell. (Photo Courtesy: Penny Ashford)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Looking to move to 2-0 in Ivy League play, the Harvard men's soccer team turns its attention to Cornell this weekend as the Big Red makes the journey to Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The Crimson (6-3-0, 1-0-0 Ivy) is aiming for its seventh consecutive victory, while the Big Red (6-3-1, 0-1-0 Ivy) is looking to avenge its loss to Harvard from a year ago.
Ivy League Digital Network
After an incredibly successful inaugural year that saw over 1,000 events streamed live, The Ivy League Digital Network has returned for 2014-15, providing fans with unprecedented coverage of the Ivy League.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.
Use the all new Social Stream on GoCrimson.com to stay connected with the Crimson on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube this year. The Social Stream brings the conversation from all three platforms into one convenient location, allowing fans of all Harvard Athletics teams to monitor the action in real time.
Last Time Out
Harvard and Yale played a highly competitive game to open the Ivy slate. The Crimson came away with the grueling 1-0 victory over the Elis, thanks to Mark Ashby's third goal of the year in the 66th minute. The Crimson displayed its strengths on both ends of the pitch in the win, reeling off 14 shots, while holding Yale to just four (one on target). Evan Mendez only needed to make that one save to preserve the victory between the posts. The Crimson spread things around as nine separate players got a shot off, with five taking two shots apiece.
Depth of Field
Harvard's streak is impressive enough – six games, averaging nearly three goals per outing – but the offensive surge is putting the Crimson on the map, both nationally and within the conference rankings. The Crimson scoring offense is the No. 11 in the country, averaging 2.11 goals per game overall.
Harvard averages 2.67 assists per contest, good enough for third-best in the country, by far the highest total in the Ancient Eight. The 6.89 points per game is seventh in the land, while the 62 total points is good enough for 20th-best out of 200 clubs.
On an individual level a few Crimson are gaining recognition as well. Freshman Sam Brown's four assists is tops in the Ivy League and comes in at No. 46 in the country, as does his 0.44 assists-per-game average. Adding to the freshman prowess on the attack, Christian Sady and Nate Devine are tied for first in the Ivy League with 0.60 assists per game, each totaling three helpers in five games this season.
Though he's missed some time, senior co-captain Kyle Henderson's three goals are tied with sophomore Daniel Smith and junior Mark Ashby for the third-highest total in the League, while his goals per outing comes in at No. 3 among the Ivies as well.
The Big Red comes to Cambridge with a 6-3-1 mark, having just lost its Ivy opener at home to Penn, 1-0. Prior to the loss, Cornell hadn't allowed a goal in four consecutive games, all in Ithaca, outscoring its opponents, 9-0. The Big Red started out the season strong with a scoreless draw with then-No. 2 Louisville, but bookended losses to Xavier and then-No. 20 Syracuse between wins over Lafayette and Binghamton.
In net stands senior Zach Zagorski, who has 11 career shutouts to his name. Zagorski is the Ancient Eight's top keeper when it comes to goals against average and save percentage, and ranks in the top 15 in those same categories nationwide.
Though its strength lies in its defense, Cornell boasts a fruitful offense as well, led primarily by Conor Goepel, who has five of the Big Red's 11 marks this season. Goepel has 13 points on the year, thanks to those five scores and three additional assists, while Peter Chodas, Stevin Bienfait and Devin Morgan come in tied for second on the team with four points apiece, all combining for four goals and four assists.
Following the crucial battle with Cornell, the Crimson welcomes in nonconference Bay State rival Holy Cross on Wednesday, before beginning a three-game road swing around the Ivy League with trips to Brown, Princeton and Dartmouth over the next three Saturdays.