The Yale field hockey team opens its Ivy League season with a bang Saturday, taking on Harvard in the academic year’s first renewal of the heated rivalry. That contest will be followed by a trip to Worcester, Mass., to take on Holy Cross (1-4) on Sunday.

Harvard comes into the game undefeated in three non-conference matchups this season. Junior Chloe Keating and freshman Emma Keller, the Ivy League’s player and rookie of the week, respectively, lead a potent Crimson offense that has scored 12 goals in its first three games and has outshot opponents 55-25 over that span.

The hectic pace continues for the Bulldogs when they travel to Holy Cross on Sunday. Despite their losing record, the Crusaders will take the field with the always dangerous combination of momentum and a hot goalkeeper. Having gained their first win of the season in a dramatic overtime win against Siena last weekend, Holy Cross will bring not only confidence to the table as they take on the powerful Eli offense, but also goalkeeper Kelly Casey, whose 33 saves place her second in the competitive Patriot League standings.

Yale will certainly not be overmatched in net, however, as the Bulldogs counter with their capable goalie tandem of Charlotte Goins ’10 and Katie Bolling ’11, who are coming off their first shutout of the season against Colgate last Sunday.

Offensively, it will be hard for either squad to match the Elis’ dominant duo of Ashley McCauley ’10 and Katie Cantore ’10, who attempt to continue their assaults on the Yale record books.

The Bulldog squad has launched an online campaign hyping what looks to be another competitive showdown with the Crimson. Yale hopes to get a raucous audience of home supporters to back them as they look to set the tone for another year’s worth of Harvard-Yale competition. The battle ensues at 2 p.m. Saturday at Johnson Field.

“We just can’t wait to start Ivy play against Harvard this weekend,” Cantore said on Sunday.