Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hockey Headlines - September 29

After a quiet first few weeks of September, there's been an influx of Harvard hockey-related news in the last couple of days.

After the jump, you'll find the preseason ECAC picks, some good news about a recent alum, and even more good news about a star freshman.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Reminder- Sportstalk Today, 1pm

Just a reminder- Crimson Sportstalk airs today at 1pm on 95.3 FM and WHRB.org.

Some of the highlights-
Alasdair Wilkins set down with Ivan Maisel, senior writer for ESPN, about Maisel's column on Andrew Hatch's journey from Harvard to LSU and back again.
We'll have highlights of the post-game press conference from Harvard's Friday night win over Brown.
And of course, we'll have Harvard Headlines, recapping a busy week for Harvard sports as fall Ivy League play kicked off for most of the teams.

That's all on 95.3 FM or online here or with your Iphone if you have the WHRB app.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Top-Ten Teams Do Battle Tonight

The no. 6 Harvard men's soccer (6-0) travels down to Winston-Salem, North Carolina for tonight's out of conference clash with the no. 3 Demon Deacons of Wake Forest (4-1-1) in what will be the toughest test of the season for the Crimson.

A lot is at stake for the Crimson. A result down south will place the Crimson in the top five of the national rankings, which would be the highest ever ranking for the Johnnies, and could very well cement Andre Akpan's pursuit for the Hermann Trophy. The Crimson are also hoping to remain among the five teams with perfect records, and a win tonight would be the best start for a Crimson squad since the 1970 team that went 12-0. The Crimson enter the match 1-0 against ranked opponents, knocking off then ranked no. 14 Boston University at Ohiri Field.

Wake Forest also has a lot to play for. The Deacs, who are at 4-1-1, saw their one loss come at the hands of ACC Opponent Virginia, the first time Wake Forest had been defeated in 35 matches at Spry Stadium. They got back to their winning ways at home with a 2-1 victory over Elon, but one thing is for certain- the Deacs won't want to lose two of three games at home after such an impressive streak. They will also be trying to keep another impressive streak alive, as they have not fallen to a non-conference opponent in 45 straight matches, with their last non-conference loss coming in 2005 in the NCAA tournament against Cal. Wake Forest enters this game 1-1-1 against ranked opponents, drawing with then no. 12 Notre Dame and defeating then no. 7 Indiana, with the loss coming to Virginia.

Harvard and Wake Forest have never met on the pitch before. Harvard is 8-14-4 against schools from the Atlantic Coast Conference all-time, including 1-0 this year after defeating Boston College on the road. Wake Forest, playing its first game against an Ivy League opponent this season, is 1-2-0 all-time against the Ancient Eight. Their last game against the Ivy League was in last year's NCAA Tournament, where they beat Dartmouth 7-0.

Harvard Game Notes Here

Wake Forest Game Notes Here

Friday, September 25, 2009

Match of Champions Tonight on WHRB

I said last week I wanted to start off each pregame post with a video. This week's video: Harvard Scores a Touchdown against Brown in the first ever night game at Harvard Stadium.

Now that tradition has been carried out, let's turn our attention to the game, the official kickoff to the Ivy League season.

Both teams return under the lights at Harvard Stadium as the Crimson kick off their 2009 Ivy League and Home Campaigns. Both teams enter at 0-1 with inconsistent signal callers, but a talented running and receiving corps. Both teams want to avoid 0-2, especially since in Ivy League play, only eight teams have recovered from an opening Ancient Eight loss to go on and win the Ivy Title- Harvard being the latest to do it, last year. Of course, last year's loss at Brown is a storyline too. For the Johnnies, they want to get revenge on the only blight in their 9-1 record and 6-1 conference record. For Bruno, it's all about proving last year's game in the torrential downpour in Providence wasn't a fluke.

Last week's key stats: Collier Winters had 195 yards and two touchdowns in the air for the Crimson, while throwing no interceptions against a talented Holy Cross secondary. Dominic Randolph threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns against a talented Harvard secondary. The result was a 27-20 loss that knocked Harvard to the "also receiving votes" part of the national polls.

Kyle Newhall threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns against a weak Stony Brook secondary, and was also picked off two times. Brown's defense earned three turnovers, but the game was lost on special teams, with a missed extra point and a missed game winning field goal being enough to send Brown to 0-1.

Everything else Harvard-Brown will be covered by the pregame show, hosted by Scott Reed and James Yoon, which starts at 6:30 tonight. The pregame includes the Harvard player of the game for last week, Derrick Barker, an interview with Coach Murphy, and a snippet of an interview with ESPN's Ivan Maisel, in addition to analysis of Harvard-Brown.

And of course, Alasdair Wilkins, Tom Brennan and Kara Hollis will have the game itself at 7pm. Kara also sat down with Pat Long and Captain Carl Ehrlich for the halftime show "Kicking a Touchdown." This match of the reigning Ivy League champions is sure to be a great one, especially with an expected crowd of over 20,000. If you're not one of the 20,000 making it out to the stadium, the game will be on 95.3 FM and WHRB.org.

So since everybody else has got the Harvard-Brown game well in hand, let's turn to the rest of the Ivy League, after the jump.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hockey Headlines - September 24

With 29 days to go until the Crimson's first and only exhibition game against McGill University, there are a couple bits of Harvard hockey-related news after the jump.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Harvard Headlines- Mid-Week Edition

It's been a while since our last Blog version of the Harvard Headlines but it's a busy day for the Crimson, and there's plenty of information about the Crimson across the Web, so today seemed like the best day to change that. With that in mind, here we go.

Ivan Maisel has a new ESPN column about a similarity between Harvard and Yale- both teams have (or will have in the case of the Crimson) quarterbacks on their depth chart who went from the BCS to the Ivy League. The article compares Patrick Witt (younger brother of former Harvard QB Jeff Witt), who transferred from Nebraska to the Elis, with Andrew Hatch, who transferred from LSU back to the Johnnies.

The article is worth the read just to again prove what many already know if they follow Harvard sports- that head coach Tim Murphy is a class act. Murphy kept in contact with Hatch after he originally left Harvard, and even sent a congratulatory note to Hatch after his first career start and win over Appalachian State. [ESPN]

The weekly Ivy League teleconference occurred yesterday. Coach Phil Estes of Brown spoke of the emphasis his team put on the kicking game this week after an effort at Stony Brook saw them miss an extra point, the game winning field goal, in addition to poor coverage on kickoffs resulting in good field position. Speaking about Harvard's offense, Coach Estes spoke positively of Collier Winters' ability to elude the pass rush, and says his team cannot solely focus on containing Winters because Harvard can run and throw the ball as well. [Ivy League Sports]

Harvard head coach Tim Murphy also fielded some questions, including the difficulties of preparing for a Friday night game and about the Brown game being a rivalry game.

Coach Murphy had this to say about the nature of the rivalry between Harvard and Brown.
Every game with us is a "rivalry" game. I get this question every week. Our big rival is obviously Yale and traditionally Princeton as well. We've got a bull's-eye on our front and our back as well... Whoever wants to call us a rival is fine with us.

Moving off the gridiron and on to the ice, recent Harvard alumnus and last year's co-captain and co-host of Top Shelf, Jimmy Fraser, was mentioned in the Providence Journal as someone who had made an impression on the Baby Bruins' coach Rob Murray during the first day of training camp. Fraser will have an opportunity tonight to continue to impress coach Murray as Providence starts their preseason against Springfield in Marlboro. [Providence Journal]

Staying on the ice, the ECAC held its women's hockey coaches' teleconference yesterday, at the end of which the ECAC revealed the coaches' season predictions and the preseason All-Conference Team. Harvard received three first place votes and 103 points total for second place in the coaches' poll behind St. Lawrence University. Goaltender Christina Kessler was named to the All-Conference Team. [GoCrimson]

Midweek Games of the Week

The field hockey (3-1) team looks to get back to their winning ways with another trip to the Nutmeg State as they face the undefeated no. 5 UCONN Huskies (7-0) tonight in Storrs, CT. Last time out, the Crimson gave up a hat trick to Yale's Ashley McCauley during a 4 goal Eli first half, before rallying with three unanswered goals in the second half. The Crimson offense has scored 15 goals so far this season.

Meanwhile, the undefeated no. 6 men's soccer team (5-0) have their second of a four game road trip as they face the New Hampshire Wildcats (2-3-1) this afternoon. The Crimson started the road trip with a 4-1 win over Fairfield. The Crimson are trying to match their best start to a season since 2007.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mark Messier visits Bright Hockey Center, new helmets for Crimson

Last year, Brendan Shanahan skated with the Crimson for several days as he prepared to sign with the New Jersey Devils midway through the NHL season.

This year, six-time Stanley Cup winner Mark Messier dropped by the Bright Hockey Center in the preseason with a different agenda in mind. Friday afternoon, Messier visited the Bright with an unusual delivery.

Men's Soccer rising on national scene

Another winning weekend for the Harvard men's soccer team, and another impressive haul of national attention for the undefeated Crimson.

On Saturday afternoon, the Crimson trekked to southern Connecticut and defeated Fairfield 4-1 behind senior striker Andre Akpan's two tallies and an assist. That win moves them to 5-0 on the season and the #6 ranking in the just-released College Soccer News poll, up a whopping six spots from last week.

This coming week will provide two more tough road tests, with a match at the University of New Hampshire (2-3-1) on Wednesday and a Saturday afternoon tilt on Tobacco Road against #3 Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons (3-1-1) are coming off a 1-0 loss to Virginia, so expect a taut game between the Crimson and the Deacons in Winston-Salem.

Akpan earned National Player of the Week honors from Top Drawer Soccer for his five-point performance against the Stags, and now stands just six goals shy of Harvard's all-time goal mark. Expect him to narrow that gap against UNH, and if he puts in a strong performance against Wake Forest, Akpan (six goals, four assists in five games) could be considered the early front-runner for the Hermann Trophy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Reminder- Sportstalk at 1pm Today

Just a quick reminder that Crimson Sportstalk is on today at 1pm on 95.3FM WHRB and whrb.org.

Alasdair Wilkins will be in the booth to give us some perspective from yesterday's 27-20 loss against a very tough non-conference opponent for the football team.

Tom Brennan will sit down to discuss Harvard's 5-0 men's soccer team.

We'll have the highlights from the postgame interviews from Harvard and Holy Cross.

And of course, we'll have Harvard Headlines recapping the past week's action.

It's all at 1pm on WHRB.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Football Season Kicks-Off Tomorrow

Ten Thousand Men of Harvard Lyrics

Note- My goal is to include a video that relates to the Harvard game being played each week- for the season opener, I thought I could do no wrong with linking to a video with the lyrics of Ten Thousand Men of Harvard.

    Harvard football is here as the #25 Crimson travel across the state to face the #23 Holy Cross Crusaders.

    Not much more needs to be said here on the blog than that- Alasdair and I talked about the game a little last Sunday, and our pregame crew will have all the big news and views at 12:30pm.

So with all that in mind, let's go around the Ivy League

Bucknell at Cornell

The Bisons enter this game 1-1, after losing by five points to Duquense on the road 24-19 before beating Robert Morris at home 26-23. Marcello Trig has 320 yards and 3 touchdowns on the year coming into the game. For his career, he has 3,505 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Yale at Georgetown

Georgetown is 0-2 and 0-2 in the conference after losing 20-7 and 28-3 to two Harvard opponents, Holy Cross and Lafayette. Yale coach Tom Williams will be making his Yale debut.

Colgate at Dartmouth

Colgate is sitting at 2-0 on the year after wins against Monmouth and Stony Brook. Both wins came at home. Dartmouth, coming off a 0-10 campaign last year, lost by two touchdowns at Colgate last year.

Citadel at Princeton

Citadel is 0-1 on the year, a 40-6 loss, but that doesn't tell anyone much, as it was a loss to a ranked Division I-A opponent, North Carolina. The Citadel had 39 passing attempts for 123 yards and 20 rushing attempts for 30 yards in their last effort.

Columbia at Fordham

It's a battle of New York as the Lions attempt to invade Jack Coffey Field in the Bronx to defeat the Fordham Rams. Fordham is 0-1 after losing to another set of Rams, Rhode Island, 41-28 two weeks ago.

Brown at Stony Brook

Stony Brook is 0-2 on the year after losing to Hofstra and Colgate in their opening games. This will be the home opener for the Big South team. Sophomore running back Edwin Gowins is set to break the 1500 yard mark in his career.

Villanova at Pennsylvania

The last time Villanova (2-0) traveled to an in-state opponent was to take on the Temple Owls of Division I-A in the inaugural Mayor's Cup, and Villanova emerged with an upset 27-24. After beating Harvard opponent Lehigh at home last week, 38-17, the Wildcats will be looking to move to 3-0 on the year against in-state teams.

Other Harvard Opponents

Lafayette (1-0, 1-0) take on the Liberty Flames (1-1, 0-0). Liberty's loss came to Division I-A opponent West Virginia 33-20, and they beat North Carolina Central last week 35-10.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Harvard Football kicks off on WHRB on Saturday

Harvard football returns to 95.3 FM WHRB, on Saturday, Sept. 19 as the Harvard Crimson (0-0) travel to Worcester to meet the Holy Cross Crusaders (2-0) at 1 p.m. Both teams are favorites to win their leagues and both are nationally ranked - Harvard at #25 and Holy Cross at #23 in the latest TSN FCS weekly poll. Listen live in the Boston area at 95.3 FM or online at whrb.org.

WHRB Sports' 2009 football broadcast coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. with a 30-minute pregame show hosted by Scott Reed '12 and James Yoon '12. The show will feature an in-depth interview with Harvard head coach Tim Murphy as he looks to guide the Crimson to their third straight Ivy League championship. Reed and Yoon will have the latest on lineups, key matchups, and players to watch.

Alasdair Wilkins '10, Tom Brennan '10, and Kara Hollis '11 will take over live from Fitton Field shortly before 1 p.m to begin the broadcast. Wilkins returns for his second season as play-by-play man, while Brennan and Hollis provide analysis and commentary after assisting with football production in previous seasons.

At half-time, WHRB Sports premieres its weekly half-time feature, known this season as "Kicking Touchdowns with Pat Long," featuring All-Ivy placekicker Pat Long '10 and Kara Hollis as hosts. This week's guest is starting linebacker Conor Murphy '10.

On Sunday, don't miss further Harvard football coverage as Crimson Sportstalk airs at 1 p.m. Host Brendan Roche '12 will have highlights of the post-game press conference with head coach Tim Murphy and live analysis from the football broadcasters.

Monday, September 14, 2009

National Recognition for Men's Soccer

Monday's mark the release of the national polls in college sports and this particular Monday was very kind to the men's soccer team.

The team, off to a 4-0 start on the year including win's last week against Boston College, no. 14 Boston University, and Army, is having one of its best starts to the season and now the Crimson are off to a great start in the polls- the team was ranked no. 12 in the nation according to Soccer America and made it to no. 18 in the College Soccer News poll.

In other national recognition, sophomore keeper Austin Harms was named to College Soccer News' National Team of the Week. This recognition comes off a fantastic start for Harms, who has given up only one goal in four games, earning him three straight clean sheets in the process.

Some Ivy League honors
were also bestowed on the team. Harms was named the Ivy League player of the week, while freshman Brian Rodgers was named the co-Rookie of the Week for the Ivy League, as he tallied a goal and two assists this week.

Harvard will look to improve on their ranking during their upcoming four game road trip, which includes ACC powerhouse Wake Forest.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


This afternoon at 1pm is the second episode of Crimson Sportstalk.

Some of the Highlights:
- Alasdair Wilkins and I will delay our discussion of animal mixed martial arts (a reference you'll get only if you listened to last week's episode*) to have the WHRB preview of the 2009 Harvard Crimson football season.

- An interview with sophomore Anne Carroll Ingersoll of the women's volleyball team.

- And of course, we'll have highlights of all the action this week, including the men's team's big week against Boston area opponents with our Harvard headlines.

It's all at 1pm EST on 95.3 FM WHRB on your Boston-area dial, or anywhere in the world at whrb.org and through the WHRB Iphone application.

* And if you missed last week's episode, firstly, shame on you. Joking. But we are working on a way to put up the shows on the Internet after a certain delay so that you can hear any of our interviews over again or you can catch up on a missed episode. We'll blog and twitter about it when we more concrete details.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Harvard Top Boston Soccer Team

Harvard (3-0) defeated the no. 14 ranked Boston University Terriers 1-0 earlier this afternoon to claim the top bragging rights in Boston.

Jamie Rees scored the only goal of the game, and Austin Harms recorded his second straight clean sheet.

Harvard is now 2-0 against local rivals, as they defeated Boston College 2-0 in Newton on Monday.

The only other opponent that Harvard, BC, and BU have in common is in-state rival Holy Cross. Just a point against the Crusaders for Harvard would give the Crimson the equivalent of the soccer Beanpot for 2009.

Since Harvard was already receiving votes in the soccer polls, the win probably also means that the Crimson will enter the next week ranked.

The Crimson look to improve to 4-0 on Sunday at Ohiri Field against Army. We'll have more on the Harvard-BU game this Sunday on Sportstalk.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Busy Second Weekend for Harvard Sports

The field hockey team (2-0), fresh off their second consecutive 4-1 victory, this time over UC Davis in Amherst, has their home opener on Saturday when they face Bryant at 12pm at Jordan Field.

The women's soccer team (1-1-1) is at Ohiri Field as part of a Friday soccer doubleheader. The Crimson take on their second California-based opponent, Long Beach State before travelling to New York on Sunday to face the Hofstra Pride at 1pm. Harvard is coming off a 1-0 win at home against New Hampshire.

The women's volleyball team (2-2) is at the Mizuno Invitational at Rice University in Houston this weekend, where they will take on no. 23 Wichita State, Rice, and South Carolina. The Crimson lost on Tuesday to Connecticut 3-2.

Men's water polo (0-3) is at the Princeton Invitational this weekend to face George Washington, no. 11 Princeton, no. 16 Santa Clara, and Fordham.

The Harvard football team travels to New Hampshire to face Dartmouth in a preseason game on Friday.

Game of the Weekend

The game of the weekend will be Harvard's attempt to claim bragging rights as the top soccer team in Boston when the men (2-0) take on the 14th ranked Boston University Terriers. This is Harvard's second battle with cross-town rivals this week, as the Crimson downed the BC Eagles 2-0 on Monday. Harvard will be looking for some measure of revenge against a program that beat them 5-1 last year on the road. The Crimson look to keep a seven game home undefeated streak alive and to claim Beantown bragging rights as part of the Friday doubleheader at Ohiri Field. Kick-off is scheduled for 4pm.

The men's soccer team is also in action on Sunday versus Army at 1pm, the last home game at Ohiri Field for them until an October 7th class against the Holy Cross Crusaders.

Football Opponents in Action This Weekend

Ivy League- None

Non-Conference Opponents

Holy Cross (1-0, 1-0) is at home to take on the Sacred Cross Pioneers (0-1, 0-0) in a non-conference matchup. Harvard travels to Worcester next weekend as the last game in Holy Cross' three game home stand.

The Lafayette Leopards (0-0, 0-0) get their season underway as they face conference opponent Georgetown (0-1, 0-1) in Washington, D.C. The Hoyas lead Holy Cross going into the fourth quarter last week but lost after two unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

The Lehigh Mountain Hawks (0-1, 0-0) don't need to travel too far for their road game as they face the Villanova Wildcats (1-0, 0-0) of the CAA in Philadelphia. The Mountain Hawks lost a non-conference game to Central Connecticut State last week, while Villanova came off an upset of Philadelphia rival and Division I-A opponent Temple, a 27-24 win to claim the first ever Mayor's Cup.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Desmond Bryant makes Oakland Raiders

Defensive tackle Desmond Bryant '09 has made it through final cuts of the NFL's Oakland Raiders and is a member of their 53-man roster as a backup defensive lineman. Bryant signed with the Raiders as an undrafted rookie free agent shortly after the 2009 NFL Draft.

Rare as it is to make an NFL squad as an undrafted free agent - it's even rarer to make it as a Harvard alum. The 6-5, 290 lb. end/tackle hybrid impressed pro scouts at Harvard's pro day before the NFL draft with his wingspan, speed, and power. Though Bryant has some ways to go with technique, he has worked hard to get up to pro speed since signing with the Raiders.

Raiders Head Coach Tom Cable told the Associated Press that, "he’s got the big body, and he’s got the want-to, and he’s allowing his coach to take him where he’s trying to go.”

Bryant told the AP that, "Surprisingly, it hasn’t been as bad as I thought. The speed of the game is obviously a little faster, guys are a little bit bigger, but the biggest thing I would say would be technique-wise. Technique is everything out here, whereas before I was bigger and stronger than everybody. I could use that more. Now I have to have my technique down a lot more."

Bryant always impressed those of us in the booth with his sheer athleticism and power on the defensive line, and he dominated many Ivy League offensive linemen. He took some time off from school at one point, which may have hampered recognition of his abilities around the Ivy League. His enormous frame and long arms make him physically suited for the NFL, and if his technique has improved as much as it appears, he could have a solid career ahead of him.

Bryant joins backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Buffalo Bills and starting C Matt Birk of the Baltimore Ravens as the three former Harvard football players on an NFL roster.

Classmate and quarterback Chris Pizzotti signed as an undrafted free agent with the New York Jets, but was unable to beat out incumbent third-string QB Erik Ainge for a roster spot.

The Associated Press published a feature on Bryant that can be found here.

GoCrimson.com also published a piece on Bryant's roster spot here.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Harvard Wins "Derby" by Two Furlongs, er, Goals

Just got back from Newton where Harvard and Boston College met on the soccer field in an attempt to claim Boston area bragging rights, and it was Harvard that came out on top 2-0 to claim the "Labor Day Derby."

Rather than just lay out the game notes here, I decided since I ventured forth, I would tell what I saw in Newton. Although I will rely on the game notes for things that can escape (or be forgotten by) people not in the press box, including names and key times in the game.

Boston College drew a good crowd for the game, including a number of BC Superfans and other students, but the small but vocal mixture of parents and students who headed to BC to support Harvard made their voices heard as well.

I arrived at the field just in time to see Harvard strike first, at the 21:29 minute mark, when Andre Akpan corralled a loose ball in the area and sent it to the far post to Scott Prozeller, who fired it to his right to put it past the BC keeper, earning his first career goal. This completely quieted the Boston College crowd, only encouraging the Crimson Crazies that had made it out to the game. (With thanks and appreciation to Sports Illustrated on Campus and their good read on Harvard football tailgating from 2007 for the picture/story.)

Boston College came close to equalizing, as a turnover led to a close range shot for them, but it was turned away by keeper Austin Harms, who kept BC's two-shots on goal out of harms way (pun intended).

Then Harvard returned to the other end of the field, and a gasp went up from the partisan crowd as freshman Brian Rodgers got his head on a good cross, but it was turned away at the last moment with a fantastic save by Justin Luthy. Harvard then earned another opportunity, as Ben Tsuda fired a shot off the crossbar.

Harvard would then be the beneficiary of the woodwork when Edvin Worley found a good amount of space in front of the Harvard defense during a BC counter attack, and he fired a shot from fifteen yards out that, had it been on goal, would have been impossible to save for any goalkeeper. Fortunately, for Harvard fans, it cracked off the near post and the Crimson were able to clear. The BC fans were stunned at their misfortune, and the Harvard fans were now anxious.

BC had regained some momentum at this point and were looking dangerous, but with less than a minute left, the speedy Brian Rodgers sent a ball over to Andre Akpan, who left a beautiful touch pass for Jamie Rees, who put it in the back of the net, sending the Ivy League squad into the locker rooms with a 2-0 lead at the half, relieving Harvard fans of their anxiety and already sending some of the BC "Superfans" home.

That scoreline became the final score, after a half that saw BC and Harvard trying to cut into and add to the lead respectively. The best chance of the night came for BC in the 73rd minute, when Charlie Rugg got the ball on his foot at the near post, with Harms out of position. A Crimson defender tried sliding over to pressure Rugg, and while he didn't get the ball, the slide clearly affected Rugg, who sent the ball sailing wide. BC appealed for possession of the ball, either because of a perceived foul or for a corner, but the referee ignored their protests and signaled for the goalkick.

After that, Harvard played a quality possession game, and came close to adding to their lead, while BC didn't truly threaten the Crimson backline.

The man of the match:
I'm tempted to take Brian Rodgers here. His speed really created havoc at times for the Eagles' defenders, he set up the put-away goal, and he had a couple of opportunities in the second half to make it 3-0 Harvard. He just needed a little bit more luck with his touches and he would have been a goalscorer.

That said, I have to give it to sophomore defender Baba Omosegbon, who was a stalwart on defense. Everytime BC seemed to have an attack going, he either got a head to the ball or got his foot in to take possession and then clear it down the field. He broke up countless BC attacks, and was a key reason in why Harms only had to make two saves to earn his shutout/clean sheet.

That ends my take on the game. Here's a postgame quote from Coach Clark that I took from Harvard's press release:

“Every win against an ACC opponent is a great win. We were successfully scoring early today and to get those early goals on their field and on a playing surface we’re not used to [turf] was the key.”

More on this when the weekend preview gets written up and posted, but this isn't the last game for Harvard this week against Boston rivals. The Crimson face a ranked Boston University squad at Ohiri Field on Friday, giving me a few days to try to think of more puns with the word derby.

"Labor Day Derby" Headlines Exciting Weekday Action

There's plenty of Crimson Sports going on this week as the fall seasons continue.

The women's soccer (0-1-1) team faces New Hampshire (1-2) tomorrow at 3pm at Ohiri Field. The Crimson are hoping to build on their nine game home undefeated streak. Harvard has beaten the Wildcats 10 out of the last 11 times they have played, including a 1-0 victory on the road last year.

The field hockey team is in Amherst, Massachusetts on Wednesday for a neutral site game against the UC Davis Aggies.

The women's volleyball team ends its four game homestand on Tuesday when they take on the Connecticut Huskies at 7pm at the MAC.

The biggest action of the week will be the "Labor Day Derby" as the Harvard Crimson (1-0) travel to Newton to face the Boston College Eagles (1-1) in a 5pm soccer clash today. I'm headed off to watch the game, so hopefully, I'll have good news to report later.

Weekend Results

The field hockey team got off to a good start with a 4-1 win over the Holy Cross Crusaders in Worcester. Junior Chloe Keating grabbed two goals and an assist.

The men's soccer team beat Stony Brook 4-1 at home on Friday, thanks in part to Andre Akpan's 3 point performance. With the three points, Akpan is now the first Crimson player to break the century mark.

The women's soccer team grabbed a 1-1 tie in their opener on Friday against the San Diego State Aztecs, but fell 3-1 on Saturday on the road against the UCONN Huskies. Caroline Albanese and Hana Taiji scored their first career goals during the two games.

Women's volleyball went 2-1 in the Harvard Invitational, defeating Colgate 3-2 and Stony Brook 3-1 before falling to Toledo in the last game 3-1. Junior Mikaelle Comrie and sophomore Christine Wu earned all-tournament honors.

The men's water polo team got off to a rough start, going 0-3 at the MIT Invitational. The Crimson opened the season against the No.13 Pacific Tigers with a 17-4 loss, followed by a close 10-9 loss to Claremont. Harvard then lost on Sunday to Redlands 15-7. Said coach Erik Farrar following the losses, "I'm encouraged, but we have some work to do."

Football Season- Harvard Opponents
Ivy League- no games played
Holy Cross (1-0, 1-0) defeated Georgetown (0-1, 0-1) 20-7 in Patriot League play. Holy Cross trailed Georgetown 7-6 going into the fourth quarter, but a pair of touchdowns sealed the win for them.
Lehigh (0-1, 0-0) lost a non-conference game to Central Connecticut State (1-0, 0-0) 28-21. The teams traded touchdowns throughout the first three quarters, but Lehigh could not answer Central Connecticut State's final tounchdown.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Just a quick reminder- the 2009 Fall Season of Crimson Sportstalk, WHRB's sports show dedicated to all things Harvard sports, gets underway this afternoon at 1pm EST.

Some of the highlights:
Tom Brennan sits down with men's soccer coach Jamie Clark and women's soccer coach Ray Leone to discuss the 2009 seasons for the teams.
James Yoon talks with field hockey coach Sue Caples about the expectations for a Harvard team returning ten players.
And of course, we'll have recaps of all the weekend action for Harvard at the top of the hour with our Harvard Headlines.

In the Greater Boston area, you can tune in at 95.3 FM. And everyone can listen at whrb.org. (And if you have an iPhone, you can download WHRB's iPhone app, allowing you to stream Crimson Sportstalk and all WHRB shows live from anywhere with your iPhone. Just search for WHRB in the iTunes store.)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ivy League Previews

1. The Boston Globe just released its preview of the 2009 Harvard Crimson football team today. The article focuses on how the talented wide receiving corps, with help from three solid running backs, should give Collier Winters plenty to work with as he adjusts to being the full-time signal caller. Coach Tim Murphy states that the team that gets the most out of its quarterback will be at the top of the Ivy League standings. [Boston Globe]

WHRB will have its own preview of the Harvard football 2009 season next week.

2. The NY Times has its preview of the Ivy League. The Times believes that the Harvard-Penn game will play a large part in determining the Ivy League champion. It also sees Columbia as a potential surprise team thanks to M.A. Olawale. [NY Times]

3. The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Keiffer Garton is motivated to overcome the two picks he threw against Harvard at Franklin Field last year. [Philadelphia Daily News]

4. And the NY Times has a preview of Penn as well, and Penn's coach Al Bagnoli says the common denominator for Ivy League champions is an experienced quarterback. Garton's running ability saw Penn add some of the Wildcat/spread formation last year, and after a whole preseason, it will be interesting to see if it becomes a solid base of their offense. [NY Times]

5. GoPrincetonTigers has a preview of the '09 Tigers offense, and the keys for Princeton on that side of the ball will be the experience of the offensive line and the running game. The preview also includes a video of the Princeton practices. [GoPrincetonTigers.com]

Harvard Opponents in Action This Weekend:
Holy Cross (Patriot League) is at home against Georgetown (Patriot League)
(Saturday, 1:00 PM)
Lehigh (Patriot League) is at home against Central Connecticut State (Northeast Conference)
(Saturday, 12:30 PM)

Harvard will be having an intra-squad scrimmage tomorrow night at Harvard Stadium.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Harvard in Action Starting Tomorrow

Ivy League football is still a few weeks away, but we have plenty of action this weekend here at Harvard.

At 2pm in the first athletic event of the year, the Harvard Crimson women's soccer team take on San Diego State. The men's soccer team follows that up at 4pm with a game against Stony Brook. Both games will be at Ohiri Field. The women's soccer team then travels to UCONN to face the Huskies on Saturday.

Friday also sees the start of the Harvard Invitational, as the women's volleyball team takes on Colgate at 7pm. Harvard faces Stony Brook and Toledo in the tournament on Saturday at 1pm and 7pm respectively. All the games are at the Malkin Athletic Center, with the tourny beginning at 4pm with the Toledo/Stony Brook match.

The field hockey team starts off their 2009 season in Worcester as they take on in-state rivals Holy Cross at 1pm on Saturday.

Lastly, men's water polo start off their season with three games at the MIT Invitational, facing Pacific, Claremont, and Redlands.

Check out Crimson Sportstalk at 1 PM on Sunday for a recap of all of these games during this opening weekend, as well as interviews with the head coaches of the Harvard men's and women's soccer team, and much more.