The Harvard women's lacrosse class of 2016 (Penny Ashford).
The Harvard women's lacrosse team will play host to No. 16/20 Cornell in a crucial Ivy League contest at Harvard Stadium Saturday afternoon. The game, which will begin at 3 p.m., will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and the Ivy League Digital Network.
The Crimson heads into the weekend 7-5 overall and 3-2 in the Ivy League, while the Big Red stands 10-3 and is tied for first with a 4-1 conference mark.
Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a third season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Digital Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
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 Social Stream on GoCrimson.com to stay connected with the Crimson on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram 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.
Ivy Tournament Picture
The top four teams in the Ancient Eight standings at the end of the regular season will advance to the Ivy League tournament, to be held at the highest seed May 6-8. Harvard (3-2 Ivy League) currently sits in fourth place, trailing Cornell (4-1), Penn (4-1) and Princeton (4-1). Dartmouth and Yale (2-3) are tied for fifth.
Thank You, Seniors!
Prior to Saturday's game, Harvard's six senior-student athletes will be honored in a pre-game ceremony. Meghan Bauer, Alexis Nicolia, Madeline Silverman, Audrey Todd, Tory Waldstein and Kelly Weis have helped the Crimson reach two Ivy League tournaments during their careers in Cambridge.
Saturday's game will mark the 37th time Harvard and Cornell have met, with the Crimson holding a 23-13 advantage in the all-time series. The Big Red held on for a 10-9 victory in Ithaca, New York last season and has won three of the last four contests between the conference rivals.
Last Time Out
Alexis Nicolia tallied a season-high four goals, and Audrey Todd added a goal, two assists and four ground balls, but the Crimson dropped a home non-conference game to No. 14/15 Boston College April 20. Nekele McCall led all players with five draw controls.
Scouting The Crimson
Marisa Romeo paces the Crimson with 25 goals (25-11-36), while Julia Glynn (19-18-37) is the team leader in points and assists. Maeve McMahon (19-8-27), Alexis Nicolia (22-2-24), Audrey Todd (14-4-18), Keeley MacAfee (7-8-15) and Eliza Guild (9-3-12) have also reached double digits in scoring, giving Harvard depth in its offensive attack. In Ivy games, Glynn (9-9-18) and Romeo (12-6-18) pace the squad with 18 points apiece.
Megan Hennessey paces the team in all games with 31 ground balls, while Nekele McCall has 30 draw controls and Tory Waldstein and Marina Burke have caused 15 turnovers each. In net, Kelly Weis has started every game and owns an 8.64 goals-against average and a .468 save percentage.
Harvard is outscoring teams, 11.33 to 8.33, per game, and has been nearly perfect on clear attempts, going 167-of-177 (.944). The Crimson is 3-3 at home and 4-2 on the road.
Scouting The Big Red
Cornell has dropped two-straight games to ranked opponents, falling at No. 11/11 Princeton, 8-7, April 16 and at home to No. 4/5 Syracuse, 9-7, April 19. The Big Red boasts a 5-1 record at home and 5-2 mark on the road.
With 19 assists and six goals, Emily Tripodi is the team's leading scorer, while Olivia Mattyasovszky has netted a Big Red best 23 goals. Cornell has a balanced offense with seven players recording 16 or more points on the season.
Goalie Renee Poullott has started every game and has stopped 79 shots to go along with a .473 save percentage and 6.91 goals-against mark. The Big Red is holding opponents to 6.85 goals per game and is averaging 10.0 goals per contest offensively.
The Crimson will face one more non-conference opponent this spring, a road match at UMass Lowell April 26. In 2015, Harvard owned a record of 4-5 in non-Ivy games and is currently 4-3 this spring after topping Hofstra, 16-8, in the season opener, Saint Mary's, 21-2, Feb. 28, New Hampshire, 12-11, March 13 and Holy Cross, 13-3, March 22.
Harvard Against The Nation's Best
The Crimson is slated to face six teams currently ranked in the Nike/LM Division I national poll this season. The Crimson will meet No. 16 Cornell April 23. Harvard is currently 0-5 against ranked foes this year.
Entering April 20, the Crimson ranked in 15th in the nation in save percentage (.491), 16th in caused turnovers per game (10.2), 16th in ground balls per game (19.1) and 17th in scoring defense (7.6).
Individually, Kelly Weis appeared 12th in save percentage (.503) and was 21st in goals-against average (7.87).
Through April 19, Harvard led the Ivy League in scoring (11.55 goals per game), ground balls per game (19.09) and caused turnovers (10.09 per game).
Harvard players have scored three or more goals in a game 13 times this spring. Julia Glynn netted a Crimson season-high six goals in the 16-8 win at Hofstra Feb. 20 and then again in a 17-9 victory over Dartmouth April 2. Glynn (twice), Marisa Romeo (five times), Alexis Nicolia (three times), Maeve McMahon (twice) and Audrey Todd have the hat tricks for the Crimson.
Senior goalie Kelly Weis has made 413 saves in her career, putting her third in program history. Kelly Dermody '89 is second on the list with 452 career saves.
Senior attacker Marisa Romeo stands ninth with 142 career points, sixth behind Jennfer VanderMeulen '13 (148) for eighth. Romeo is 11th with 110 career goals, trailing Sarah Winters '95 (111) by one tally for 10th.
Margin of Victory
On Feb. 28, Harvard earned a 21-2 non-conference win at St. Mary's. The 19-goal margin of victory marked the most for the Crimson since defeating Stanford, also by a 21-2 score on March 31, 1995.
Leading The Way
The Crimson once again has three captains for the 2016 campaign, as seniors Audrey Todd, Tory Waldstein and Kelly Weiss were elected by their teammates for the second-consecutive season.
Welcome, Class of 2020!
Harvard has eight freshmen newcomers to the roster this season: Nicole Baiocco, Colleen Burke, Caroline Garrity, Marley Jenkins, Keeley MacAfee, Claire Rushin, Rosemary Scalise and Ali Thaler. The class of 2020 consists of three attackers, three midfielders and two defenders.
Hall of Fame Bound
Former Harvard women's lacrosse standouts Maggie Vaughan '90 and Sarah (Downing) Nelson '94 were recently inducted into the United States National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Vaughan, a two-time All-American as a defender, earned first team honors in 1989 and 1990. Vaughan helped lead Harvard to its first NCAA title in 1990 as the Crimson defeated Maryland in the national championship game. In addition to earning All-Ivy League honors four times, she was the Ivy League's Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 1987 and the Ivy League's Player of the Year as a senior in 1990. Vaughan was also the recipient of an NCAA post-graduate scholarship in 1990. She was a member of the U.S. Women's National Team program for seven years, and helped lead Team USA to the gold medal as a member of the World Cup team in both 1993 and 1997.
Nelson, a two-time collegiate All-American as a midfielder, received second team honors in both 1992 and 1994. She helped to lead Harvard to the Ivy League title in both 1991 and 1992 and earned All-Ivy League recognition in 1992 and 1994. Nelson was also selected for the North-South All-Star Game following her senior season in 1994. In addition, she was a three-time member of U.S. World Cup Team, helping Team USA to capture the world championship in both 1997 and 2001, and place second in 2005. All told, she was a member of the U.S. Women's National Team program for 11 years. Nelson was the recipient of US Lacrosse's Beth Allen Award in 2002 as the most outstanding U.S. team player at the Women's National Tournament.
Harvard will close out the regular season with a pair of road games at UMass Lowell April 26 and Yale April 30.