The Harvard women's lacrosse team (8-6, 4-2 Ivy) will wrap up the regular season this Saturday, traveling to Ithaca, New York to face No. 11 Cornell (10-4, 5-1 Ivy) at 12 p.m. The game is a critical Ivy League matchup between two teams headed to the Ivy League Tournament next week, with seeding implications, and hosting duties on the line for the Big Red.
Ivy Tournament Implications
Cornell, Harvard, Penn and Princeton have each secured a spot in the Ivy League Tournament May 5-7 with one game remaining in the regular season for each. With a win over Cornell Saturday, the Crimson has the ability to earn the three seed in the tournament. A Big Red win would secure the top seed and the right to host the tournament next weekend at Schoellkopf Field. Complete seeding and schedule will be announced following the conclusion of all games this weekend, which includes Princeton hosting Columbia Saturday and Penn hosting Yale Sunday.
Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a fourth 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. The ILDN is also available on Apple TV and Roku. 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.
Last Time Out
Despite building a 5-1 lead 14 minutes into last Saturday's contest, the Crimson suffered its second Ivy League loss of the season, as No. 7 Penn rallied for a 13-10 victory at Harvard Stadium. Keeley MacAfee and Marisa Romeo set the tone for the Harvard offense, as each had a hat trick and two helpers. Maeve McMahon and Katie Muldoon each scored twice. Junior goaltender Olivia Gundrum made nine saves over the final 27:03 of the game, a new career-high.
Scouting the Crimson
Heading into the final game of the regular season, the Crimson has already secured its fourth consecutive year with a .500 or better record, as well as four Ivy triumphs. On the road this season, the Crimson boasts a 3-2 record, having most recently downed Brown, 19-12, in Providence, April 15.
The Big Red enters Saturday game with losses in its last two games, dropping a road matchup to No. 10 Syracuse, 11-8, and a double-overtime nail biter, 12-11, at home to No. 9 Princeton last Saturday. Cornell also fell to No. 17 Albany, 11-10, April 11. The Big Red's lone win in that span was a 14-12 decision at Dartmouth April 15.
Cornell has relied heavily on its defense this season, ranking eighth in the nation and second in the Ivy League in scoring defense at 8.43 goals per game allowed. Senior goaltender Renee Poullott matches those rankings with her goals-against average of 8.33 and she has the seventh-best save percentage in the nation at .513. Offensive production has been headed by three student-athletes primarily. Seniors Amie Dickson and Catherine Ellis lead the way with 54 points and 32 goals, respectively, while sophomore Sarah Phillips has reached 40 points as well.
Harvard leads the all-time series against Cornell, 23-14, with 19 of those victories coming in the first 19 meetings from 1980-98. The squads have split the last eight meetings, 4-4, with the Big Red earning wins in the last two, including an 11-3 victory in Cambridge last year. Harvard's last win in Ithaca came in 2011 by a score of 13-12.
High Conversion Rate
Harvard has made opponents pay for giving them free position attempts this season, converting at a 53.7 percent clip, the fourth-highest in the nation and tops in the Ivy League. Marisa Romeo has scored nine times from the free position to lead the Crimson this season, while Keeley MacAfee has been an efficient 5-for-5.
Seven Harvard student-athletes have combined for 23 hat tricks this season. Marisa Romeo leads the way with 11, including three games with at least five goals. Other players with hat tricks this season include: Megan Hennessey, Julia Glynn, Keeley MacAfee, Hannah Keating, Maeve McMahon and Caroline Garrity.
Four times this season, Harvard has scored at least 17 goals in a game, winning all four. For the year, Harvard is averaging 13.50 goals per game, second-most in the Ivy League and 24th in the nation.
Opposing goaltenders will keep busy when facing the Crimson. Harvard ranks 10th in the country and first in the Ivy League, averaging 26.00 shots on goal per game. Jacksonville leads the country, averaging 7.81. Marisa Romeo paces the Crimson, putting 5.57 shots per game on goal, 10th-most nationally.
Harvard has been one of the best teams in the country this year in limiting turnovers. At 13.71 per game, the Crimson averages the fewest in the Ivy League and the third fewest in the country. Maryland has the top mark in the nation at 12.50.
At the other end of the field, Harvard's defense has been among the best units in the nation in forcing its opposition into turnovers. The Crimson is averaging 10.64 caused turnovers per game, tops in the Ancient Eight and 24th in the country.
Three times this season, senior Marissa Romeo has been selected as the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week. She first earned the honor March 6, posting seven points (5g, 2a) in a win over Yale. She garnered her second honor March 20 after racking up 11 points against Ohio State and Syracuse. The Crimson defeated the Buckeyes and rallied from six goals down to force overtime against the Orange. Most recently, she earned the accolade for her five-goal performance in Harvard's win at Brown April 15.
Senior Marisa Romeo became the fourth player in Harvard women's lacrosse history to eclipse 200 points on Sunday, April 2. Romeo scored five times and had two assists, helping her become the first player since Liz Berkley '93 to reach the 200-point plateau.
1st – Francesca Dehnartog '83 - 315
2nd – Maureen Finn '83 – 306
3rd – Marisa Romeo '17 – 222
2nd – Maureen Finn '83 - 182
3rd – Liz Berkery '93 - 161
4th – Marisa Romeo '17 – 160
Nine freshmen join the Crimson this season. Joining Harvard's attack are Kristin Burnetta, Isabella Di Pietro, Julia DiNovi and Hannah Keating. Uniting with the midfield are Sara Cami, Jackie Cuccurullo, Bridget Flynn and Katie Muldoon, and the lone rookie defender is Tate Green.
Harvard will await the results of the final Ivy League games around the conference and prepare for the Ivy League Tournament, held at the top seed, May 5-7.