The Harvard women's soccer team travels to Durham, N.H. to take on the University of New Hampshire this afternoon, and Head Coach Tim Wheaton is not making any predictions.
"Anything can happen."
Harvard's only game was a 4-1 victory over the Maine Black Bears. The University of New Hampshire's perfect 3-0 record includes a 6-0 stomping of the Black Bears in its most recent contest.
That, however, proves little more than the fact that Maine is off to a pretty poor start. Today's matchup should shed more light on both teams' chances for continued success this season.
"We have done well against them [UNH] in the past, but they are the kind of team that takes advantage of their opponents' mistakes," Wheaton said.
The Crimson has an advantage in that it has a number of women who can knock the ball into the back of the twines--as it proved against the Black Bears.
Senior Co-Captain Robin Johnson netted two goals in that contest, and senior Jen Minkus, a 50-goal scorer in high school who is playing for Harvard for the first time this season, are both dangerous around the net.
But the depth of the Crimson's offense is far greater than these two alone.
Co-Captain Amy Weinstein is a threat to score, as are juniors Sharon Olken, Nicole Parent and Laurie Uustal.
"Goal scoring can come from all over," Wheaton said. "Our first goal of the season was sparked by two players who were in their first varsity game and was finished by Uustal, a traditional threat."
The Wildcats will start sophomore Molly Kirchner in the net after a two-game absence due to a concussion sustained in the opening minutes of the team's first game. Kirchner has recorded four saves in limited action.
Harvard will look for sophomore goaltender Brooke Donahoe to have another solid outing while junior sweeper Erin Matias will anchor the defensive corp.
"Brooke did a great job against Maine. She's won the confidence of her teammates," Wheaton said. "And Erin is one of the best pure defenders I have seen."