Women’s soccer will host rival Harvard this homecoming Saturday, hoping to reclaim a share of the top spot in the Ivy League standings. The Crimson (8-3-2 overall, 3-0-1 Ivy) are currently sitting alone in first place in the Ancient Eight. A victory by Princeton (5-4-3 overall, 2-1-1 Ivy) this weekend would leave the two teams tied for first place, with each team having two league games left this season. Saturday’s showdown will be played at Myslik field in Roberts Stadium at 4 p.m.
The Tigers are coming off a disheartening loss last weekend against Columbia. A close final score of 1-0 in favor of the Lions placed Princeton in a tie with Columbia for second place. The outcome of this Princeton-Harvard tilt will have a substantial impact on the Ivy League standings, with five teams currently sitting within two games of first place.
Saturday’s match between the Tigers and the Crimson will pit the statistically best offense against the best defense in the Ivy League. Princeton leads the Ivy League offensively, with the most shots overall and per game (196, 16.33), most points overall and per game (23, 1.92), and most goals overall and per game (11, .92). Harvard’s defense has allowed an astonishingly low seven goals in 13 games for a league-leading GAA of .58. Impressively, the Crimson have not allowed a goal to be scored against them in their four Ivy League games this season.
The Tigers have been led by the incredible duo of sophomore and senior forwards Tyler Lussi and Lauren Lazo. The two Tigers are having incredible offensive seasons, sporting the Ivy League lead in multiple offensive scoring categories. Senior goalkeeper Darcy Hargadon has also played a large role in the Tigers’ success so far this weekend, allowing only one goal in the last 369 minutes of Tiger play.
Lussi was named Ivy League Player of the Week last week and put together an impressive second season, scoring her first career hat trick against Brown two weeks ago. Lussi leads the team and Ivy League so far this season with 11 goals scored, already surpassing the 10 goals she scored last year in her freshman season, putting her in 12thplace on Princeton’s all-time career list. In addition to goals scored, Lussi also currently leads the Ivy League in points earned (23) and shots taken (61). Lussi is only four goals away from tying the all-time Princeton record for most goals scored during a player’s combined freshman and sophomore years.
Lazo has also made a strong imprint in her final season and appears on track to earn her fourth All-Ivy League honor. Lazo is a consistently strong player, currently sitting in a three-way tie for fifth place on the all-time Princeton career points list. Lazo leads the team and Ivy League with seven assists. In addition, she is tied for second place in the Ivy League for goals scored with six, and is in sole second place for points earned (19).
Hargadon, who has been in goal for 903 of the team’s 1,140 minutes this season, has compiled a save percentage of .650 on 26 saves and has started all 11 games she has played in. Sophomore Hannah Winner and freshman Godrun Jonsdottir have also played goalie this season, with nine and three saves, respectively.
Notable freshmen on the team include midfielder Alessia Amermadhi and defender Natalie Larkin, two of the four Tigers who have started in all 12 games this season. First-year midfielder Vanessa Gregoire and defender Katie Pratt-Thompson have started a number of games for the Tigers. Gregoire was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week earlier this season after assisting Lussi for a goal. Other freshmen to watch are forwards Mikaela Symanovitch and Beth Stella, who have also been named Rookie of the Week this season.
Harvard’s league-best defense is led by goalkeeper Cheta Emba, who has played 676 minutes and is in second place in the Ivy League with a remarkable save percentage of .893. Crimson forward Margaret Purce is in second place in the league in shots taken (50), and leads the team with five goals and one assist (11 points). Midfielder Meg Casscells and forward Emily Mosbacher follow close behind with three goals and four assists (10 points), and four goals and one assist (9 points), respectively. Harvard has the fifth-best shutout percentage in all of Division I with shutouts in nine of 13 games, and is 12thin Division I goals-against, giving up a goal about once every other game.