Last year, the Harvard women's soccer team tied Brown, 0-0, in double-overtime on the final day of the '86 season to lose a share of the Ivy League title.
At season's start, rookie Harvard Coach Tim Wheaton set the Ivy crown as the primary goal for his squad in '87.
Today, the Crimson closes out its regular season against the 4-1 Bruins, and the booters still have a shot at Wheaton's goal--though they will need some help.
Harvard, which is ranked 14th nationally and second in New England, trails Cornell in the Ivy race by a half-game. The Crimson is 3-0-2 in the Ivy League, while the Big Red is 4-0-1. Today, the Big Red plays the 1-4 Tigers in Princeton, N.J. Victories by both Harvard and Princeton will give the title to the Crimson, but a Cornell triumph will end the booters' dreams of an Ivy crown.
The combination of the importance of the game in the Ivy race, the desire for revenge after last season, and the fact that Harvard has not beaten Brown since 1980 should give the Crimson all the incentive it needs today against the Bruins.
"We want to beat them very badly," Harvard Co-Captain Tracee Whitley said. "None of the seniors have ever beaten Brown."
To beat the Bruins, the booters will have to maintain the steady defense which has helped All-America netminder Whitley to a 0.50 goals-against-average this year. Co-Captain Karin Pinezich has been the big scorer for the squad with five goals and three assists for 13 points.
Senior midfielder Julie Sasner, who missed action in the squad's 2-1 victory over Yale this week, is expected to return against the Bruins.
Sasner's steady skills should provide some punch to the offense which has been lackluster at times. The Crimson has scored only 14 goals in 12 games this season.
Later tonight, seven at-large bids and five regional bids to the NCAA tournament will be announced. If Harvard nabs the title today, it will receive an at-large bid.
Even if the Crimson is edged out by Cornell for the crown, it is likely that the team will receive an at-large bid for the New England region along with UMass, who is ranked number two in the nation. The tournament begins next week.