The last three times the women’s soccer team has faced Harvard, the Crimson have come out on top. This Saturday, the Bulldogs (4–3–2, 1–0 Ivy) will look to end that streak when they take on the Cantabs (5–4, 1–0) in a key conference matchup, and try to stay unbeaten at Reese Stadium.
“We haven’t beaten Harvard in a few years, so we’re a little frustrated with that,” goalkeeper Adele Jackson-Gibson ’13 said. “We definitely want to put them away.”
Saturday will mark the 37th meeting between the two teams. Harvard owns a 27–8–1 edge in the all-time series against Yale. Needless to say, head coach Rudy Meredith said the Bulldogs are looking forward to taking on their archrivals.
“I think we get pumped up to play Harvard [even] in freaking checkers,” he said. “We always get pumped up to play Harvard because it’s Harvard.”
The Elis, who have won three of their last four games, opened Ivy League play last Saturday with a 2—0 victory over Princeton. Midfielder Kristen Forster ’13 and forward Melissa Gavin ’15 both scored goals just 36 seconds apart to lead the Bulldogs to their first conference win of the year.
Meredith said he believes it will take the same showing to defeat the Crimson this weekend.
“It has to be, similar to Princeton, a total team effort,” Meredith said. “Everybody has to contribute.”
Gavin leads the team with three goals and 26 shots. She is also tied with midfielder Enma Mullo ’12 for a team-high seven points.
Defensively, the Elis’ back line has posted four shutouts this year, matching the team’s total from all of last season. Jackson-Gibson has started all nine games in net this season and sports a 0.73 goals-against average.
Like the Bulldogs, Harvard also began Ancient Eight competition with a win after handing defending champion Penn a 2–0 loss last Friday in Cambridge. The Crimson also defeated New Hampshire, 4–1, on Sunday to complete the weekend sweep.
But the road has not been kind to Harvard this year, as it has fallen in all three of its away contests.
The Crimson offense features one of the Ivy League’s most dangerous players in senior midfielder/forward Melanie Baskind. Baskind, who was named the Ivy League Player of the Week on Monday, leads the Ancient Eight with 29 shots, 14 points and six assists, and her four goals are also tied for the most in the league. Freshman midfielder Meg Casscells-Hamby has also been strong for Harvard, tallying nine points on three goals and three assists.
Four different players have seen time in front of the net for Harvard. Alexandra Millet has started six games for the Crimson and owns a 2.67 goals-against average.
Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. at Reese Stadium.