Harvard-Yale rivalry extends to IM games

The football team will not be the only Yale sports team to take the field against archrival Harvard this weekend.

This Friday, three Yale intramural teams will face off against their Crimson counterparts as part of the annual Harkness Cup Games, an annual intramural competition between Yale and Harvard that began in the fall of 1935 and is still taking place today. Each year, this tradition brings together championship IM teams from each school to compete against each other in their respective sports. Though the actual Harkness Cup Trophy was lost in the 1970s, whichever college emerges with the most victories wins the Harkness Cup Games.

The opportunity to represent Yale in the Harkness Cup Games is presented to the residential college IM teams who win the IM title in men’s football, men’s soccer and coed Ultimate Frisbee.

This year, Davenport’s men’s football team, Saybrook’s coed Ultimate Frisbee team and JE’s men’s soccer team will all take on Harvard’s best after coming out on top in their respective IM championship tournaments.

“It’s just a really interesting competition and a fun way, I think, to bring together the two schools at a level of competition that goes beyond the traditional Game that we’re going to see on Saturday,” Nick Styles ’14, co-captain of the JE men’s soccer team, said.

After repeating as IM champions, the JE men’s soccer team will return to the Harkness Cup Games for a second consecutive year. In last year’s edition of the games, JE defeated Harvard’s Kirkland House in a game that was decided by penalty kicks.

Styles, who was also a part of last year’s team, said he believes his team will be able to replicate that success on Friday.

“We’re a really strong team,” he said. “I really like our chances for this game, and I think we’re going to come out on top.”

The Harkness Cup Games will also be familiar territory for Saybrook’s coed Ultimate Frisbee, which represented the Bulldogs in last year’s competition and also emerged with a win for Yale. Because coed Ultimate Frisbee is a spring sport, Saybrook won the IM championship last spring after compiling a perfect 7–0 record. Still, Saybrook IM secretary John Ettinger ’12 said he believes the team has a good chance of beating Harvard, especially because Saybrook never has much trouble bringing together a full team to compete.

“I feel very confident,” Ettinger said. “We beat them pretty handily last year, and our team has only gotten better. And we’re home, so I predict a victory for Saybrook and for Yale.”

Though there was some trouble securing fields for the competitions because of the tailgates that will take place on Saturday, the games will be played on the C-Special field, which is located on the lower fields next to the main softball field, head IM secretary Kieran Dahl ’14 said.

The coed Ultimate Frisbee, men’s football and men’s soccer teams will compete Friday at 3, 4 and 5 p.m., respectively.

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