While freshman Bente van Vlijmen took home Athlete of the Week honors after leading the field hockey team to an Ivy League-clinching victory over the weekend, three other Crimson student-athletes had especially notable performances, earning this week’s Athlete of the Week runners-up honors.
The Crimson (11-5, 6-0 Ivy) emerged victorious against Dartmouth (4-11, 0-6) thanks to the Netherlands native breaking the gridlock at the beginning of the second period with three goals within 12 minutes.
For the first time in a dozen years, the Harvard field hockey team can call itself the Ancient Eight champions.
Harvard ended its eight-game winning streak with a loss to No. 12 Boston College on a rainy night on Berylson Field. The Crimson (10-5, 5-0 Ivy) was ranked four spots below the Eagles, and the game ended with Boston College (10-7, 3-3 ACC) claiming the victory at 4-1.
Athlete of the Week: Kathleen Young's Two Goals Leads Field Hockey to First Win Over Princeton in 22 Years
The Crimson knew that someone needed to step up in a big way for the team to overcome such a challenge and stay atop the Ancient Eight table. It turns out that sophomore forward Kathleen Young was that someone.
Sophomore midfielder Victoria Boylett breaks away after doubling back to recover the ball from an opposing player during the Crimson’s 3-1 win against Maine on September 25. Everyone will need to do their part in order to overcome expectations and pull off a win against the No. 11 Tigers.
In a battle that will likely be for the Ivy League crown, field hockey conference leaders Harvard and Princeton will compete Saturday at the Tigers’ Bedford Field. The No. 20 Crimson (8-4, 4-0 Ivy League) haven’t won the division since 2004, when the team shared it with Penn. The No. 11 Tigers (9-5, 4-0 Ivy League), on the other hand, have taken the division title 21 of the last 22 times, the one exception being 2005.
In field hockey’s 5-0 win against Cornell on Saturday, Balleza accumulated five points, scoring two goals and providing one assist. Those marks helped Balleza become Harvard field hockey’s all-time career leader in points and goals with 103 points and 44 goals.