The women’s soccer team hopes to jump-start its offense and snap a three-game losing streak on Saturday against visiting rival Harvard in a crucial Ivy League matchup.

The Elis (4-4, 0-1 Ivy) opened the season by winning three of their first four games, but they have struggled to find the net recently, scoring only two goals during their recent three-game skid.

Despite generating several quality scoring opportunities against intrastate rival Central Connecticut State University (8-1-1) on Sept. 30 at Yale’s Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium, Yale failed to get on the scoreboard.

Head coach Rudy Meredith has continuously juggled the lineup to find a combination of players that will complement each other in all aspects of the game. He has yet to find that combination, he said.

Despite their recent offensive woes, the Elis have been solid defensively for most of the season.

Goalkeeper Sarah Walker ’05 sports a 1.26 goals against average, and solid play from defenders April Siuda ’06 and Christina Huang ’07 has helped keep the opposition off the board.

But good defense will not be enough.

“If you don’t score, you’re not going to win a game. It doesn’t matter what you do,” Meredith said.

When it comes to scoring, the Cantabs’ sniper is midfielder Alisha Moran, who leads the team in goals (5) and points with (11).

Harvard earned its first Ivy League win with a 1-0 victory on Sept. 27 over the University of Pennsylvania (3-2-2, 0-1 Ivy), snapping the Quakers’ 10-game unbeaten streak which stretched to October of 2002.

This weekend’s Ancient Eight matchup is even more crucial for the Elis after their 4-2 loss to then-nationally ranked No. 20 Princeton (6-0-1, 1-0 Ivy).

Just like last year, Yale enters the Harvard match one game under .500 in the Ivy League, and if this year’s matchup is anything like last year’s contest, fans will be in for a nail-biter at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium.

In 2002 at Cambridge, Mass., the Bulldogs scored in the 87th minute to defeat the Crimson 3-2. The win pulled the Elis to .500 in the conference and helped Yale earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, the first in program history.

There is clearly much more on the line this weekend than bragging rights.