The Ivy League title is on the line for Harvard this weekend. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Still in search for its second consecutive Ivy League title, the Harvard women's soccer team will conclude the quest this Saturday as the Crimson (9-4-2, 4-1-1 Ivy) welcomes in the Columbia Lions (7-3-6, 2-2-2 Ivy) for the regular season finale at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium. The two squads will kick things off at 1:30 p.m. on Senior Day.
Celebrating the Seniors
During the last four years, Harvard's seven seniors have helped the Crimson to an Ivy League title and NCAA berth in both 2011 and 2013. Over the last four seasons, these seniors – Laura Aguilar, Meg Casscells-Hamby, Cheta Emba, Erika Garcia, Bethany Kanten, Marie Margolius and Lauren Urke – have amassed 42 wins, including 20 in Ancient Eight play. In 2014, the seven Crimson together have guided Harvard to a 9-4-2 overall record and a 4-1-1 conference record heading into Saturday's contest.
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 13 points, Harvard owns a slim, one-point lead over Dartmouth with just one game left on the docket, making this weekend vital for both clubs. Behind the Big Green in second sits Princeton in third, with nine points (3-2-1), and Columbia in fourth (2-2-2). Yale (1-1-4) and Penn (2-3-1) are tied with seven points, while Brown with five (1-3-2) and Cornell with three (1-4) round out the League.
The Crimson has had a tremendous year to this point in its quest to repeat as Ivy League champions. Sitting at 4-1-1 in League play, this year's edition of Harvard women's soccer has seen superb individual and team performances.
Purce added her sixth tally of the season in the game versus Princeton two weeks ago, a team-best to go along with her 14 points (6g, 2a). Senior co-captain Meg Casscells-Hamby has been stellar all year along the midfield, racking up 10 points on three goals and four assists. Emily Mosbacher has four goals on the year, one of which was a game winner, while Kanten and freshman Dani Stollar have accounted for three goals apiece. Both Brooke Dickens and Joan Fleischman have added a pair of tallies, while Lauren Urke and Mia Bladin round out the Crimson scorers.
Between the posts, a lethal tandem of Lizzie Durack and Cheta Emba roam the goal line. Durack's goals against average remains under one per game at 0.99, while Emba's 0.59 GAA in nine starts places her in the top three of the League standings. Emba also adds 28 saves, while Durack has stopped 15 shots. The duo has combined for nine total shutouts on the year as well.
The Lions enter the weekend with a 7-3-6 overall record, having gone 2-2-2 against its Ancient Eight foes. Columbia has shut out nine opponents on the year – including three Ivy League teams – but five of those have come by way of 0-0 draws. On the season, Columbia has outscored its 16 opponents, 16-9.
Coleen Rizzo has five of those 16 goals to her credit – three of which were game winners – adding an assist for 11 points in 2014. Madeline Linde and Taylor Grace have two tallies apiece, while seven other Lions have found the back of the net, including last week's Ivy League Rookie of the Week Kerry Manion. Sarah Forthal leads the way with two of Columbia's 12 assists.
A trio of netminders platoon for Columbia between the posts in Allison Spencer, Grace Redmon and Gabby Dubick, each of whom have at no fewer than five starts this season. Spencer owns a 2-1-2 record with 16 saves and just two goals allowed, while Redmon sits at 3-1-2 with 17 saves and three goals allowed. Dubick owns a 2-1-2 ledger with 19 saves and four scores against.