This coming Saturday, the Harvard women’s soccer team will square off against Columbia in the last game of the regular season, in which the Crimson looks to extend its win streak against the Lions to five.
When Harvard (8-5-3, 2-3-1 Ivy) meets Columbia (6-8-1, 2-3-1 Ivy) at Soldiers Field, the game will hold special meaning for its six seniors, Alexandra Conigliaro, Alicia Johnson, Alexandra Millet, Aisha Price, as well as Catherine E. Coppinger and Taryn I. Kurcz, who are both Crimson sports executives. The group will be honored with a ceremony for Senior Day, which will look to recognize their contributions over the past four years. The veteran group was part of the teams that won Ivy League titles in both 2009 and 2011.
“It’s been an up and down season but the seniors have really been a great guiding influence, especially to our younger players,” junior co-captain Peyton Johnson said.
While the Crimson is no longer in Ivy title contention after recent losses to conference leaders Princeton and Dartmouth, the team stands right in the middle of the Ancient Eight, tied with the Lions for third place. The two teams have identical league records, while Harvard holds an edge in overall wins.
“Something to really fight for is ending [the regular season] on a win,” Johnson said.
When the two teams squared off last November, the Crimson topped Columbia, 1-0. The lone goal was scored by sophomore midfielder Lauren Urke and was assisted by sophomore midfielder Meg Casscells-Hamby. The pair led the team in shots, with four each. Lions goalkeeper Lillian Klein was left to scramble for four saves, while her offense pressured sophomore goalkeeper Bethany Kanten for two saves.
Casscells-Hamby has led the team in scoring this year. The sophomore has had six goals in the 14 games in which she has played. She also leads in points, nabbing 15, and has totaled 52 shots. Casscells-Hamby is trailed by junior forward Elizabeth Weisman, who has scored five goals over 42 shots for Harvard, and accumulated 11 points.
This year, Columbia arrives in Cambridge not having won an Ivy game since defeating Brown on Sept 29. Since then, the Lions have faltered against Penn, the Tigers, as well as the Big Green and most recently had a 1-1 double overtime battle against Yale. Columbia’s other conference win came against Cornell.