The men's soccer team closes out 2014 on the road at Penn on Saturday. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Heading into the final weekend of the regular season, the Harvard men's soccer team hopes to capitalize on its outside shot at the Ivy League title. The Crimson (10-4-2, 3-1-2 Ivy) treks to Philadelphia to take on the Penn Quakers (6-8-2, 2-2-2 Ivy), needing a win and outside help for the crown.
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.
The State of the League
With a win over Penn and losses from Princeton and Dartmouth to Yale and Brown, respectively, Harvard can advance to the NCAA tournament. The Crimson sits in sole possession of third with 11 points, just behind the Tigers and Big Green, which each have 13.
The Crimson has found its stride again as one the Ivy League's best offenses. Through 15 games, Harvard Has amassed 29 goals good enough for two per outing. The 90 total points the Crimson has put up is the most among the Ancient Eight and is No. 7 in the entire country, averaging six points per contest. The 33 helpers Harvard players have dished out is good for eighth in the land.
Twelve different players have found the back of the net this season, led by Tim Schmoll's five tallies. After Philip Fleischman registered two goals in the 2-0 victory over Stony Brook on Tuesday, a total of six Crimson have registered at least three goals on the year, including Mark Ashby (3g), Kyle Henderson (3g, 1a), Hiroki Kobayashi (3g, 3a) and Daniel Smith (3g, 1a).
A trio of rookies along the Harvard midfield line has spurred the surge in assists this season. Nate Devine and Christian Sady each own five helpers apiece, followed closely by Sam Brown's four. Eleven other Crimson have lended helping hand this season to get to the Ivy League-best 33 assists.
In net, Evan Mendez has been a stalwart for Harvard all season. The junior has made 14 starts, allowing just 17 goals (1.19 GAA), while turning aside 48 shots (.727). Classmate Joe Festa has served admirably between the posts as well, picking up the start and the victory versus Stony Brook this Tuesday. He has made four saves on the year without allowing a score in 120 minutes of action.
The Quakers enter the game with a 6-8-2 overall record, going 2-2-2 against Ancient Eight competition. Penn is 1-2-2 over its last five contests, all of which have been games decided by one point or less. In 15 starts, Alec Neumann has 21 points off eight goals and five assists. Duke Lacroix is next in line with seven goals, while his six assists is a team-best, tied with Forrest Clancy.
In net Max Polkinhorne has done a solid job, allowing 29 goals (1.79 GAA) and racking up 80 saves (.734) to earn a decision in all 16 games for the Quakers.