Harvard To Face Cornell in Key Conference Tilt

Zorigoo Tugsbayar

Sophomore Meg Casscells-Hamby, shown here in action against Yale, scored off of a cross from classmate Lauren Urke to break the Harvard women’s soccer team out of an overtime stalemate with the Bulldogs on Saturday. The Crimson looks to secure its second Ivy win this weekend.

The Harvard women’s soccer team—currently on a two-game winning streak after recent victories over New Hampshire and rival Yale—will meet a Cornell squad on Saturday that has just registered its first win of the season.

The game will see the Crimson (5-3-2, 1-1 Ivy) delve further into conference play at home on Soldiers Field Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium, as it battles the Big Red (1-10, 0-2 Ivy), and looks to continue its rise in the Ancient Eight standings. Harvard has not lost to Cornell since 1992.

This season has not been without its missteps for the Big Red. Tuesday’s 4-1 win over Lafayette broke what had been a 10-game losing streak.

Cornell’s four goals on the game marked a season high for the team, which has put up just 14 goals total in comparison with the 31 that it has allowed opponents.

Leading the Big Red in tallies is co-captain Maneesha Chitanvis, who has tallied four goals so far this year, including two against the Leopards.

Senior Xandra Hompe holds the team high in points, with 10 split between three goals and four assists, three of which came against Lafayette. Hompe was the first player for Cornell to tally three assists in a game since 1991.

Defensively, junior goalkeeper Tori Christ has seen the most time in net, starting in 10 contests this year.

Tuesday marked her first collegiate victory, relieving freshman Caroline Quentin after the first half. Christ made one save in the final 10 seconds of the game. The junior has recorded 56 saves this season, registering a 2.73 goals-against average.

Regardless of any hiccups the Big Red has had thus far, Harvard will enter the game conscious of Cornell’s strengths.

“We always have high expectations for every Ivy League team,” sophomore Meg Casscells-Hamby said. “Every Ivy-League game we play is a battle, and we prepare ourselves for that every time. Cornell is a very good team, and we are going to bring the best game we have on Saturday.”

On Tuesday, Harvard took down the Wildcats, 2-1, on the road in a match that featured big plays from junior co-captain Peyton Johnson as well as freshman forward Emily Mosbacher.

Johnson netted one goal and one assist, the latter of which came on the game-winning header by Mosbacher past New Hampshire goalkeeper Erin Jackson.

Sophomore goalkeeper Cheta Emba earned a career-high eight saves against the Wildcats. New Hampshire provided plenty of offensive pressure, outshooting the Crimson, 9-4, in the second half and 18-13 for the game.

Emba filled in for sophomore goalkeeper Bethany Kanten, who has started all nine games she has played in this season.

Kanten has recorded a record of 4-3-2 this year, with shutouts against Massachusetts, Central Connecticut State, and the Bulldogs.