PRINCETON, N.J. -- It was an offensive
explosion for the Ivy League men’s soccer teams in the final
week before League play begins. Over 14 games last week, the
Ancient Eight combined for 34 goals for an average of 2.4 goals per
The Ivy squads went 9-3-2 during week five, highlighted by Brown’s Husky Classic Tournament victory. In a battle of teams in the receiving votes category in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) national poll, the Bears erased a 2-0 deficit to take down the host team Washington, 4-3 in overtime. Brown then posted a 3-0 shutout of Portland to finish the tournament 2-0. Senior Thomas McNamara recorded one goal and two assists in the two games and was named Tournament Offensive MVP.
Penn and Princeton each went 2-0 in the Princeton Invitational, beating up on Fairleigh Dickinson and Rider. Cornell defeated Binghamton (5-0) and Saint Joseph’s (3-2) to improve to 7-0 for the first time since 1974. The Big Red remains undefeated and untied on the season and has not lost a non-conference game in 15 opportunities. Its seven-game winning streak is the team's first since 1995. Cornell has also scored a goal in 23 consecutive games, extending its own team record by one.
Yale went 1-0-1 over week five and Columbia tied with Long Island, 1-1, in its only game of the week. Harvard headed west and fell to Cal Poly, 2-1, and No. 3 UCSB, 1-0. Freshman goalkeeper Joe Festa kept the Crimson in the game against the third-ranked Gauchos with eight saves.
Week six kicks off with a pair of tough non-conference games for Yale and Columbia, which will face No. 2 UConn and No. 13 St. John’s, respectively, on Tuesday. League play will begin on Saturday when Dartmouth faces Princeton, Columbia takes on Brown, Penn travels to Cornell and Yale squares off against Harvard.
CO-PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
For the second time in two years, Cornell junior Daniel Haber (Toronto) and Penn junior Stephen Baker (Rochester, N.Y.) share Player of the Week honors. It also happened on Sept. 26, 2011. Haber’s performance was no surprise – the junior entered the week tied for first in the country in goals scored – but Baker did something that no Penn player had done since 1977 on Sunday, scoring four goals in the Quakers' 7-2 win over Rider. He added an assist against the Broncs, part of a five-goal, 11-point weekend.
Baker’s first goal of the week helped Penn avoid the worst start in program history, as the Quakers held off Fairleigh Dickinson, 3-2. Penn is now 12-0 when Baker scores at least one goal. He becomes the first Penn Player of the Week since Thomas Brandt on Nov. 14, 2011. Baker takes home his sixth career Ivy League award and the third Player of the Week honor of his career.
Baker’s Weekly Stats
2 GP, 5G, 1A, 11 Pts., 14 Shots, 11 SOG
Haber continued his scorching start to the season, recording two goals and an assist in each of the Big Red's two games last week. He continues to lead the League in goals (11) and points (26) while ranking tied for first in assists (four). Haber earns his third Player of the Week award this year (Sept. 3, Sept. 10) to become the first player to earn three such honors in a single season since Penn’s Omid Shokoufandeh (Oct. 6, Oct. 27, Nov. 3) accomplished the feat during the 2008 campaign.
Haber’s Weekly Stats
2 GP, 4G, 2A, 10 Pts., 14 Shots, 7 SOG, 1-1 PK
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Princeton freshman Thomas Sanner (Indianapolis) made sure the Tigers did well in their own invitational, finishing with four points on a goal and two assists in two games to earn All-Tournament Team honors. He assisted on both of Princeton’s goals in a 3-1 win over Rider (the third score was an own goal by the Broncs), and then netted the gamewinner in his squad’s 2-0 win over Fairleigh Dickinson.
Sanner takes home his third Rookie of the Week award this season (Sept. 3, Sept. 17) to become the first three-time Rookie of the Week since Harvard’s Brian Rogers in 2009 and the first Tiger to accomplish the feat since Jason White was named Rookie of the Week four times in 1999.
Sanner’s Weekly Stats
2 GP, 1G, 2A, 4 Pts., 4 Shots, 1 SOG, 1 GW
Joe Festa, Harvard (Fr., GK – Medfield, Mass.)
2 GP-1 GS, 147:44 Mins., 3 GA, 1.83 GAA, 9 Svs., .750 Sv. %, 0-2
Duke Lacroix, Penn (So., F – New Egypt, N.J.)
2 GP, 3G, 2A, 8 Pts., 9 Shots, 3 SOG, 1 GW
Thomas McNamara, Brown (Sr., M – West Nyack, N.Y.)
2 GP, 1G, 2A, 4 Pts., 5 Shots, 3 SOG, Husky Classic Offensive MVP
Kevin Michalak, Yale (So., M – Farmington, Conn.)
2 GP, 1G, 2 Pts., 4 Shots, 2 SOG, 1 GW
Tuesday, September 25
No. 2 UConn at Yale, 7pm
Hartwick at Cornell, 7pm
Columbia at No. 13 St. John’s, 7 pm
Wednesday, September 26
Penn at Drexel, 8pm
Saturday, September 29
*Dartmouth at Princeton, 5pm
*Columbia at Brown, 7pm
*Penn at Cornell, 7pm
*Yale at Harvard, 7pm
*-Ivy League Contest