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No. 12 W. Soccer Take on Cornell


When the NCAA Division I women's soccer rankings came out earlier this week, the Crimson showed up at number 12.

Today's game against Cornell at Ohiri Field will give the nation's 12th ranked team a chance to improve its record to 3-0 in the Ivy League and 8-0 overall.

Cornell (3-5, 0-2 Ivy) is tied for last place in the league with Pennsylvania. While on paper it appears that the Crimson has a big advantage, today's game will provide insight into the impact of the new poll on the team's play.

Because of its ranking, the Crimson has become the biggest game of the season for many of the teams it faces. Though Harvard's undefeated record is intimidating, it can also be a source of motivation for its opponents.

"This is really big for us because it's an Ivy League game", senior Dana Tenser said. "Even though Cornell doesn't have a very strong record it looks like they are getting back on track."

It is not uncommon for a team's intensity to suffer on the heels of an impressive spot in the polls, especially when its opponent is in the midst of a disappointing season. This has not escaped the attention of the Crimson.

"We've been trying really hard to keep the intensity level up," Tenser said. "I don't think intensity is going to be a problem".

In addition to the threat of becoming complacent, the Crimson has to worry about the loss of sophomore Brynne Zuccaro, who suffered a broken foot in Tuesday's practice.

"Even though she's only a sophomore she's one of our more experienced backs," teammate Rachel Chernikoff said. "I think we're going to step up and in a sense play the game for her."

Nevertheless, Harvard still appears to have a stronger team. If the Crimson can contain Cornell threats Jenna Terranova and Jen Dales the Crimson will move even closer to a tournament berth, which is foremost in the minds of Harvard players.

"There are a few players that we have to watch out for, but that's not what we really focus on," Tenser said. "We just have to go out and play our best game."

The only blemish on Harvard's Ivy League record last year was a tie with Cornell. According to Chernikoff, this has resulted in a "vendetta" that the Crimson hopes to settle this afternoon.

If the Crimson plays to its potential, knocking off Cornell should not be a problem.

But the Harvard players know that anything can happen and it would be a mistake to dismiss the Big Red because it is the underdog.

"They have nothing to lose," Tenser said. "That's what makes them a dangerous team."

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