Sports » Around the Ivies
The Ancient Eight kicked off their seasons last weekend, and though they had a late start, some of the Ivy League men’s soccer teams have already made a big impact. Below, we try to make sense of the league so far:
1. Penn (4-6 overall, 1-0 Ivy League): The Quakers are certainly not unbeatable — they lost five straight contests earlier this season — but they beat Drexel 3-2 on Oct. 2 and won their Ivy debut against Cornell on Jonny Dolezal’s goal in the 81st minute. Goalie Mark Polkinhorne had seven saves, each one vital in the 1-0 win.
2. Princeton (4-5, 1-0): The Tigers got off to a rough start but surprised the league when they handed Dartmouth its first loss of the season in Hanover last weekend. Forward Cameron Porter’s header made the difference in that game, and the junior is second on the team with four goals and two assists this season — sophomore forward Thomas Sanner has six goals and an assist. Princeton’s next Ivy match is Saturday at at Brown.
3. Yale (2-6, 1-0): Like Princeton and Penn, Yale’s out-of-league record is unimpressive, but the Bulldogs won their first league game. Last weekend’s win against rival Harvard was exciting but may not bode well for Yale, as it needed a last-minute free kick deflected into the net to top the 1-6 Crimson. The Bulldogs’ next match against Dartmouth will most likely prove even more challenging.
4. Columbia (5-2-1, 0-0-1): The Lions went down early against Brown, came back with two unanswered goals while still in the first half, and then played three more periods of scoreless soccer on Saturday. David Najem, who had an assist in the marathon match, which ended in a tie, is tied with Sanner for the most points in the Ancient Eight. The Lions are rolling: They lead the league in points per game with 1.88 and had won five straight games before the Brown game.
5. Brown (3-4-2, 0-0-1): Brown also kept its unbeaten streak alive when the Columbia game ended in a tie and has not lost since Sept. 22. Though their offense has yet to score more than two points in a game, the Bears’ defense has kept them competitive this season, and goalie Josh Weiner leads the Ivy League in saves. They will face a team much like themselves in Princeton this weekend before heading to Cambridge on Oct. 19.
6. Cornell (6-2-2, 0-1): Though it couldn’t hold on to beat Penn in its first Ivy match, Cornell’s defense has propelled it to the best overall record in the league despite a mediocre offense. The Big Red has shut out four opponents in 10 games and has not let up multiple goals in a match so far. Meanwhile, the offense has earned the most corners and taken the most shots of any team in the league, though it is sixth in the league in goals scored.
7. Dartmouth (4-1-4, 0-1): The Big Green will hope that its recent loss to Princeton, the first of its season, was just a bump in the road as it journeys to Yale and Penn for its next two games. Dartmouth has the makings of an Ivy champion: Goalie Stefan Cleveland leads the league in save percentage, and junior midfielder Gabe Stauber has already proven he can come through in the clutch with two game-winning goals.
8. Harvard (1-6-2, 0-1): Little has gone right for the Crimson this season — it has scored only six goals and come away with just one win in nine games. Though things don’t look too good for the Crimson as it heads to Ithaca this weekend, it may get a chance for its first Ivy win when it hosts Brown on Oct. 19.
Correction: Due to a reporting error, an earlier version of this article misstated the men’s soccer team’s next opponent. The team will be playing at Brown. The ‘Prince’ regrets the error.