Cornell Big Red(5-0 overall, 2-0 Ivy League): you can’t ask for a better start than perfection, especially for a team that is hungry for a tournament appearance after finishing third last year. Resounding wins against Yale and Columbia have certainly set a strong tone for the season. The Big Red certainly have their strong defense to thank – they’ve allowed a league low 6.4 goals per game to start the year.
Penn Quakers(6-1, 1-0): Still smarting their second place finish last year (losing the Ivy League crown to Princeton), this Penn team has come out looking like they have something to prove. They are ranked 14thin the NCAA, and have already picked up a victory over another ranked team (#17 Towson).
Princeton Tigers(4-2, 1-0): After a strong showing in the 2015 postseason, the Tigers have come out back and ready for more. Ranked #11 in the NCAA (the best of any Ivy League team), the Tigers have already accomplished what could be a season highlight – taking down the University of Virginia (then ranked #4) at the Class of 1952 Stadium. Moreover, their only losses on the season have come on the road against top-ranked teams: University of Notre Dame (currently #40) and Penn State (currently #9). They’ve been finding the back of the net well, at 12 goals per game – due in no small part to the play of junior midfielder Olivia Hompe, who is second in the league in goals per game.
Harvard Crimson(4-2, 1-0): Speaking of strong offenses, hats off to Harvard for starting the 2016 campaign on the right foot. They’ve been scoring at a league best 12.88 goals per game. Like Princeton, their only losses have been at the hands of top teams, Stanford and Syracuse University.
Yale Bulldogs(4-4, 1-1): A team that has finished in the middle of the Ivy League for the past four seasons has certainly started out this year the same way. No signature wins or losses dot the Bulldogs’ season so far, but they have the opportunity to push their way up the conference rankings as they face 3 straight games in New Haven before hitting the road once more.
Dartmouth Big Green(4-2, 0-1): Despite their loss to the Tigers to start the season, the Big Green need not despair as they look toward the rest of the season. Indeed, their other loss came on the road against the University of Florida, currently ranked #2 in the nation. Indeed, through all of their games, they’ve been lifted by the excellent scoring from midfielder Jaclyn Leto, who leads the Ancient 8 in goals at 23.
Columbia Lions(4-4, 0-2): After last year’s last place finish, the Lions have not come out the gates in league play the way they wanted. They took a bruising loss to Harvard at home, and fell to Cornell in Ithaca. They’ve allowed the most goals per game of any team in the Ivy League – nearly 11 per contest, a mark they will have to shore up if they want any chance of staying afloat in a competitive Ivy League.