Who ever said the Ivy League couldn't dominate a sport nationally?
With five of the conference's seven teams (Columbia doesn't have one) ranked in the top 15 in the country, the Ivy League is no joke when it comes to women's lacrosse.
Second-ranked Princeton leads the pack with a 9-1 record overall, 3-0 Ivy, and that's including a close 9-7 win over Harvard. Although the Crimson started the season in at the number two spot, Harvard trails Dartmouth in the polls as well. The Big Green improved its record to 5-2 overall, 1-1 Ivy, as it tore through the Keystone state, thrashing Pennsylvania 14-3 and edging fifth-ranked Penn State 9-6 to secure the fourth spot in the poll.
With its impressive wins over Yale and ninth-ranked Loyola, Md., Harvard moved into the number six position and boosted its record to 5-2 overall, 2-1 Ivy. The Crimson now trails only Princeton and Cornell in league play. The Big Red boast a 3-0 mark in the Ancient Eight, but that's only because it has faced relative cream puffs in the Quakers, the Bears, and the Elis. Cornell will have a hard time holding Dartmouth back this weekend, especially Big Green attacker Lauren Holleran who leads the league in overall goal-scoring with 28.
Nevertheless, Cornell (5-1 overall, 3-0 Ivy) holds the number 11 spot in the poll, followed closely by Brown (5-3, 0-2 Ivy) at number 12. Since the Lions have no team, that leaves the Elis as the only Ivy squad missing from the rankings.
Sorry Yale. Must be the air of downtown New Haven.
Honors For Berkery: Harvard Co-Captain Liz Berkery finally received some recognition from the Ivy League. The senior from Wellesley, Mass., made the Honor Roll for her eight-point week against Yale and Loyola, Md. Berkery tallied five goals and dished out one assist against Loyola, while scoring two goals against the Elis.
Berkery is third in the league in overall scoring with 24 goals and seven assists. Her 24 tallies puts her in at the number two spot in goal-scoring behind Holleran. Looks like another All-Americanesque year for Berkery who, in the last couple weeks, has been able to turn up the heat at just the right time and torch opposing defenses with no problem.
Taming the Wildcats: The Crimson travels to Durham, NH., today to take on New Hampshire at home. The 14-ranked Wildcats (4-2 overall) have lost to Brown and Yale, but handed Cornell its only loss of the season a little over a week ago.
If Berkery and the rest of the offense play the same way they did against Loyola, and if sophomore Liz Williamson leads the defense in another stingy performance, Harvard should have no trouble with UNH. The Crimson has gotten into the flow of the season and taming the Wildcats should prove easier than making any ordinary household feline behave.
The Harvard men's lacrosse team hosts Brown today in the Crimson's home opener. The sixth-ranked Bears (4-2 overall, 1-1 Ivy) split its two Ancient Eight games last week, beating Yale 8-6 and falling 9-7 to Princeton
Brown features senior midfielder Andy Towers who became the Bears' career goal-scoring leader in the game against Yale. Towers reached 126 tallies and broke Tom Drapers' record of 123 goals which had lasted for 19 years. Towers also leads the league this year in overall scoring with 22 goals and eight assists. The Bears' other weapon sits between the pipes and his name is Jay Stalfort. Although he is no Scott Bacigalupo (Princeton's All-American netminder), Stalfort has posted the second-best number in the league this year. He trails only Bacigalupo in overall and league goals-against-average with marks of 8.17 and 7.50 respectively, and, in fact, he does have the best save percentage (.720) in the Ancient Eight.
The Crimson (1-4 overall, 0-1 Ivy) will have to find a way to crack Stalfort's code, and that burden will most likely fall on the shoulders of sophomore Steve Gaffney and freshman Mike Eckert. Eckert and Gaffney lead the team in scoring with 16 and 15 points respectively. Gaffney scored three goals and had one assist in the Crimson's victory over Adelphi and made the Ivy League Honor Roll for his performance.
The Ivy Race: Harvard finds itself in the cellar of the Ivy League this season with an 0-1 record. But the Crimson has only played one Ancient Eight game (a 10-7 loss to Pennsylvania) and would most likely move all the way to third place with a victory over Brown.
Obviously, it's still early in the season, but defending national champion Princeton is at the top of the Ivy League with a 6-1 record overall and a 3-0 conference mark. The second-ranked Tigers don't have the same type of offensive fire that they did last year though, relying more on Bacigalupo's wall-like play than anything else. Princeton barely edged Pennsylvania and Brown last week, winning 6-5 and 9-7 respectively.
Eighteenth-ranked Yale (4-4 overall, 2-2 Ivy) holds second place in the conference, but suffered two setbacks last week.
Upset of W. Soccer Vaults Brown Into Top 25On the heals of its first victory over Harvard since the 1993 season, the upstart Brown Bears have landed the
The Odyssey of a Coach and a ProgramA long and storied coaching career has come to an end. With this Saturday's game against Yale, football coach Joe
Ivy Soccer's Climax: Harvard vs. BrownAll the kicks, headshots, surprises and disappointments from a whole season of Ivy League season will come down to one
Men Booters Edge QuakersThe Harvard men's soccer team snapped a six-game losing streak with a 1-0 overtime win over Penn Saturday. Sophomore Will
Laxwomen Travel to HanoverIt's been six years and 34 straight victories since the Harvard women's lacrosse team has lost an Ivy League game.