All the kicks, headshots, surprises and disappointments from a whole season of Ivy League season will come down to one hour-long game this weekend when Harvard hosts Brown at Ohiti Field.
Brown is currently rated first in the league with a 5-0-1 league record. Harvard is tied for second with Columbia with a 4-1-1 mark. If the Crimson wins, it will share the league lead with the Bears. If Brown wins, it will be the undisputed league champion.
In many ways, the game can be seen as another version in the David vs. Goliath series of sports.
Brown comes into the match as the undisputed Goliath of the league. It came into the season expecting to take it all, and it has done little to disappoint those expectations. It is 10-2-1 overall.
Its only blemishes of the season were nail biting loses to powerhouse South Carolina 2-1 (overtime), and Maine, 1-0, and a 2-2 tie to Columbia.
Harvard, on the other hand, nicely fills the role of David. The Crimson came into the season not knowing what to expect. Early on, it surprised, but for its poor play rather than its good play. After winning its opening game against Cornell, 2-0, it went about losing its next six games, falling to Columbia, New Hampshire, Clemson, Furman and Boston University in succession. It has fared better since, going 3-2-2, but it will still have to stretch to beat the Bears.
The league championship match-up comes about after one of the tamest weeks in the league this season. There were few, if any, surprises in the 11 games in which Ivy teams participated.
The Crimson played two games this week, losing to Hartwick, 2-1, on October 26, and tying Dartmouth (2-1-2 Ivy, 6-3-3 overall), the fourth-place team in the league, 0-0, on Saturday.
Brown had a relatively easy week. On Saturday it pasted weak Cornell (2-9-2 overall, 0-4-1 Ivy), the seventh-place team, 2-0.
Columbia (4-1-1 Ivy, 9-2-2 overall) scored an impressive 10 goals in two games this week, the largest one-week tally by a team this season. The Lions beat Fordham, 7-3, on October 27, and then edged Princeton, the fifth-ranked team in the league, 3-2, on Saturday.
In addition to its tie with Harvard, Dartmouth slaughtered Providence on Tuesday, 5-1.
In addition to its loss to Columbia, Princeton edged Rutgers in overtime on October 26, 3-2.
Penn (2-3-0 league, 5-7-0 overall) lost to St. Joseph's on October 25, 3-1. It then dropped a highly-contested, overtime match with Yale (0-6-0 league, 2-12-0 overall) on Saturday, 3-2.
In addition to its loss to Brown, Cornell flexed some muscle against Army. It beat the Cadets, 3-0, on October 26.
In addition to their loss to Penn, the hapless Bulldogs were stomped by Vermont, 3-0.
In addition to the Harvard-Brown game tomorrow, Columbia will be at Dartmouth on Sunday; Cornell will be at Yale this afternoon; and Penn will be at Princeton tomorrow.
League Notes: Columbia junior Rikki Dadson was named the Ivy League Player of the Week for this week. After missing three games due to injury, Dadson exploded for five goals in two games last week.
He recorded a hat trick in the Lions' 3-2 win against Princeton, a result that kept the Lions alive in the Ivy championship picture. He also scored two goals in the team's 7-0 destruction of Fordham.