The Crimson looks to remain undefeated in Ivy play this Saturday. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's soccer team will look to keep its Ancient Eight unbeaten streak attached this weekend as the Crimson (8-3-2, 3-0-1 Ivy) heads to Princeton to take on the Tigers (5-4-3, 2-1-1 Ivy) at 4 p.m. Saturday. Harvard holds the top spot in the Ivy standings, but is just a game up on Princeton for the race to the League title.
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, which has yet to concede a single goal in Ivy League play, moved to 12-0-1 in its last 13 conference games with a thorough 2-0 victory at Brown. The Crimson got on the board early, thanks to Emily Mosbacher's header in the 11th minute. Mosbacher sent in her fourth goal of the year off a nice cross from the corner by Haley Washburn. Margaret Purce sealed the deal with her fifth goal of the season late in the game, splitting the Bears' defense for a breakaway goal in the 87th minute to make it 2-0. Senior Cheta Emba was sturdy between the posts for Harvard, collecting four saves in the clean-sheet effort.
The Total Package
Harvard's attack has been fairly solid all season, scoring 20 goals – second most in the League behind Princeton's 22. Margaret Purce leads the charge with her five tallies, the third-highest goal count among Ancient Eight scorers. Emily Mosbacher has been thorough as well, registering four markers on the season, just ahead of Meg Casscells-Hamby's three, two of which are game winners. Brooke Dickens and Dani Stollar each have a pair of goals, while Mia Bladin, Joan Fleischman, Bethany Kanten and Lauren Urke all have scores as well.
Defensively, Harvard boasts arguably the best back line in the conference, as the Crimson has allowed just seven goals in 13 games behind an Ivy-best eight shutouts – including four against League opponents. Bailey Gary and Alika Keene are the only two Crimson to start all 13 contests, anchoring the back line that includes the rotating play of co-captain Marie Margolius, Erika Garcia, and freshmen Marie Becker and Mia Bladin.
Behind the stout defense stands a pair of fierce keepers in Cheta Emba and Lizzie Durack, both of whom have combined to post the eight clean sheets. Just five goals have found the back of the net on the two, while the keepers have combined for 36 saves. The duo sits one-two in the Ivy League for goals against average with each owning a miniscule 0.44 GAA. Emba's save percentage of .889 is second among Ivy keepers, just ahead of Durack's .846 in fourth.
The Tigers welcome in the Crimson on Saturday owning a 5-4-3 record, but sit in second place with a 2-1-1 mark against Ivy League opponents. Princeton's victories have come over some quality opponents in Villanova (2-1), Yale (1-0), Lehigh (4-1), Brown (5-0) and Army (3-0), proving that, as the League's top scoring squad, it can find the back of the net when needed. Most recently, however, the Tigers dropped their first Ancient Eight game in a close 1-0 defeat at the hands of Columbia last week.
Tyler Lussi not only leads Princeton, but heads up the Ivy League with her remarkable 11 goals this season, the eighth-highest total in the NCAA. Lussi adds an assist for a grand total of 23 points, sitting atop the League rankings, just ahead of teammate Lauren Lazo's 19 points. Lazo has accounted for 13 total scores, firing in six goals with seven assists for 19 points. Only three other Tigers have found the back of the net, however, as Haley Chow (three goals), Beth Stella and Mikaela Symanovich (one goal apiece) round out the five scorers.
In goal, Darcy Hargadon has allowed just 14 goals in over 900 minutes of action, earning a 4-3-3 record with 26 saves. Hannah Winner (1-0-0) and Gurdrun Jonsdottir (0-1-0) have picked up the other records this season, combining for five goals allowed and 12 saves in Hargadon's absence.
After this weekend, Harvard has but two games remaining as the Crimson closes out the season at Dartmouth on Nov. 1 and versus Columbia on Nov. 8 for Senior Day.