It's not often that Harvard roots for Yale in any sport.
But this Saturday the Harvard men's soccer team will be doing just that.
The Crimson (7-3-3 overall, 4-1-1 Ivy League) need the Elis to at least tie league-leading Princeton (5-1) in order to stay in the Ivy title race.
If Princeton wins, the Tigers are guaranteed a piece of the title...and returning-champion Harvard has to pack up its Ivy trophy--won last season for the first time in 17 years--and ship it back.
Dartmouth (5-1), the other leading contender for the crown, beat Columbia, 2-1, Saturday, in what was arguably the most challenging game left on its schedule. The Big Green faces Brown Saturday, its final stumbling block en route to a share of the league crown.
No Ivy Allowed: NCAA Tournament bids were announced late Sunday night, and for the first time in three years, the Crimson will not be going to the playoff party. The New England region bids went to Boston University, which tied Harvard 0-0 in October, and Vermont. No Ivy League teams received bids.
Magic Midfield:The Crimson pulled out a 2-0 overtime win over Penn lastFriday--it's first OT victory in four attemptsthis season--with much thanks to a little midfieldmagic.
Center midfielders Paul Baverstock and JeremyAmen created the opportunities and scored thegoals--offensive firepower that the Crimson hasbeen lacking all season.
"Jeremy and Paul really took control ofthings," Harvard Coach Mike Getman said. "Theymade the difference for us."
Baverstock netted the game-winner on a penaltykick early in the first overtime period, and Amenadded the insurance goal. Baverstock earned IvyPlayer of the Week honors for his effort.
Stocking Up:Harvard's entire team hasscored only 19 goals this season--that's less thanits top three scorers combined last season. ButBaverstock is doing his best to up the Crimsonscoring statistics. With his goal at Penn and anassist in Harvard's 1-1 tie with Massachusettslast Wednesday, Baverstock has four goals and sixassists for a team-high 14 points. He is trailedby senior midfielder Ramy Rajballie and juniorforward Nick D'Onofrio, each with nine points.
Sophomore midfielder John Shue joined thescoring ranks by scoring the lone Harvard goal inthe UMass game--his first collegiate tally.
Golden Goalie: Harvard's scoringstatistics may have been suffering this season,but its goaltending certainly hasn't. Crimsonsenior netminder Stephen Hall has three Ivyshutouts and the best goals-against average (0.78)in the league.
"Stephen was outstanding, like always," Getmansaid after Hall's five-save shutout at Penn. "Hemakes every play we need."
Hall took a day off last Wednesday whenclassmate Chad Reilly, the starting goaltender in1986, protected the net.
Sidelined:The injury list at lastWednesday's game was long and painful, but atwo-week break before Harvard's next contest--Nov.19 vs. Yale--should give the Crimson a chance tomend. Freshmen Lenny Ilkhanoff and Josh Morris satout both games last week with knee injuries andare unlikely for the Yale game. Rajballie, wholeft the UMass contest with an ankle injury, wasback on the field Friday at Penn, as was seniorback Louis Lyons (leg injury)