It’s the big one.
The Yale men’s soccer team will host the Harvard Crimson in the Ivy League opener for both teams, on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (2-3-2) are trying to stay healthy, focused and injury-free for this weekend’s match.
The Elis struck a familiar chord Tuesday in their match against Sacred Heart, dominating the field in ball control but somehow coming up short on the scoreboard. Yale’s failure to make successful attempts on goal led to the Pioneers’ decisive 4-0 victory and the Bulldogs’ second loss in a row.
The Elis’ past seven games this season have provided the best on-site training the younger Bulldogs could hope for. Yale’s freshest faces have made some of this season’s most impressive plays against some of the toughest collegiate teams in the country. Freshmen were pivotal in Yale’s 4-1 domination of St. Francis (N.Y.) earlier in the season, making several assists. Forward Scott Armbrust ’13 leads the team in goals and points, with four and eight respectively. Last week, Armbrust was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week, due to his ability to put the ball in the net.
Saturday’s match will also mark the Bulldogs’ annual Alumni Day. This year, the current Elis will honor the 1999 team, which won a school-record 13 games in a halftime celebration.
This season, the Crimson (6-1) are off to a very successful start, outscoring their opponents 16-3. Their goalkeeper, Austin Harms, has been named the Ivy League Player of the Week twice this season. Their star forward, Andre Akpan, leads the team with six goals, four assists and 16 total points.
The Bulldogs will need to be on their toes this weekend if they want to give Harvard its second loss of the season.
Yale takes on time-honored rival Harvard this Saturday at 7 p.m. in Reese Stadium.