Crimson win despite surrendering an early lead at Penn
After jumping to a 17-0 lead in the middle of the third quarter, the No. 19 Crimson (8-1; 5-1 Ivy League) barely snuck out of Penn (5-4; 4-2 Ivy League) with a 24-21 win last Saturday (Nov. 15). With three minutes remaining and the Quakers threatening to score, it took a Ryan Barnes ’09 interception to seal the win, keeping Harvard in first place.
Barnes — who recorded a total of three interceptions (two in the end zone), six passes defended, and five tackles in the contest — was named both Ivy and National Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career.
At the 125th meeting between Harvard and Yale this Saturday (Nov. 22), senior quarterback Chris Pizzotti will enter his final game as the Crimson’s signal-caller, trying to become Harvard’s all-time passing leader in yards, passing touchdowns, and passing attempts. He is 383 passing yards, four passing touchdowns, and 40 passing attempts behind all-time leader Neil Rose ’03.
The Crimson enter Saturday’s contest tied with Brown for first place in the conference. If both Harvard and Brown win their weekend games, the two will share the Ivy League title. A four-way tie is also possible, as Yale and Penn are not yet eliminated from contention. If Brown loses to Columbia, Harvard loses to Yale, and Penn beats Cornell, the four teams will have a 5-2 record and share the Ivy title and will be the first time in league history that four teams are crowned as co-champions.
Crushing NCAA first-round loss completes memorable season
The Crimson women’s soccer team fell in devastating double-overtime fashion, losing in a penalty shootout to the Northeastern Huskies on Friday (Nov. 14). After completing the second overtime period deadlocked 2-2, Northeastern outscored Harvard 4-2 in the shootout to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The loss brings the season to an end for the Crimson, who were crowned Ivy League champions for the first time since 1999 and had six All-Ivy selections (all returning next season), including first-team honorees Lizzy Nichols ’10 and Katherine Sheeleigh ’11. Freshman forward Melanie Baskind, who was named to the Ivy second team, was selected as the 2008 Ivy Rookie of the Year.
Harvard closes the season with a 10-4-4, 5-1-1 Ivy League record (representing the best overall win percentage since 2000 for the Crimson), and graduates six seniors.
Men’s soccer drops final contest in OT, still receives NCAA berth
After inclement weather forced the Crimson’s last regular season game on Saturday (Nov. 15) at Penn to move to the next day, the Crimson men’s soccer team gave up the game-winner on a breakaway four minutes into the sudden-death overtime to lose 0-1. Despite outshooting the Quakers 15-7 in the contest, Harvard got off no shots in the overtime, and Penn handed the Crimson their second Ivy defeat of the season. Because the Dartmouth Big Green won its game Friday night against Brown 2-0, both the Quakers and the Big Green finish the season with a share of the conference title. Harvard ends the season in third-place.
Monday (Nov. 17) the Crimson (11-5-0; 5-2-0 Ivy League) received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament and will travel to Amherst, Mass., to face the UMass Minutemen on Saturday (Nov. 22) at 12 p.m. A win means Harvard would advance and play the South Florida Bulls, who are the tournament’s No. 8 seed, on Nov. 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Icers rebound, skate into first place
After suffering back-to-back losses at Rensselaer and Union the previous weekend, the Harvard men’s hockey team are back to on track after defeating No. 16 Clarkson 5-1 (Nov. 14), No. 19 St. Lawrence 1-0 (Nov. 15), and tying Brown 3-3 (Nov. 18). After completing a weekend sweep, the Crimson have not only resurfaced in the polls at No. 18, but the tie at Brown bumps Harvard into sole possession of first place. In the win against Clarkson, the Crimson had their strongest offensive performance of the year, scoring five goals by four different Crimson players. On Saturday, however, it was the Crimson defense that led the way, with freshman goaltender Matt Hoyle (name ECAC Rookie of the Week on Nov. 17) posting 29 saves in the first shutout of his career. Against Brown, Harvard (4-2-1; 4-2-1 ECAC; 1-0-1 Ivy League) nearly escaped Providence with a win, but still played solidly enough to add a point in the standings, placing the Crimson atop the ECAC.
Crimson swept in weekend series despite the return of Stone and Vaillancourt
The return of coach Katey Stone and 2007-08 Patty Kazmaier winner Sarah Vaillancourt ’09 was not enough help for the No. 4 Harvard women’s hockey team, as they fell 2-0 at Clarkson (4-5-2; 2-1-0 ECAC) on Friday (Nov. 14) and at No. 8 St. Lawrence (7-1-2; 4-0-0 ECAC), 1-3, on Saturday.
Stone and Vaillancourt missed the first four games of the season while participating in the annual 4 Nations Cup (Nov. 4-9), in which Stone coached Team USA to a 3-2 shootout victory against Vaillancourt’s Team Canada in the championship game.
The Crimson have not lost two consecutive regular season games since February 2006.
The icers will attempt to bounce back this weekend (Nov. 21 and 22) when they return home to Bright Hockey Arena to face Colgate and Cornell on Friday and Saturday, respectively, at 7 p.m.