Ivy League rules Columbia and Penn men's soccer to play second game

by Alexander Agadjanian and Gayne Kalustian | 11/4/16 4:29pm

UPDATED: Nov. 4, 2016 at 5:25 p.m.

Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania men’s soccer teams will play again in light of Harvard University’s cancellation of its men’s soccer team’s season, according to Trevor Rutledge-Leverenz, assistant executive director for communications and championships for the Ivy League. The two teams were Harvard’s final remaining opponents in the regular season.

Harvard announced the cancellation of the men’s soccer team’s season on Thursday after the discovery of a scouting report created by the team that contained ratings of women in explicitly sexual terms.

The game will count as the seventh game for each of the teams. Columbia and Penn first met on Oct. 8 and played to a double overtime 2-1 win for the Lions in Philadelphia. The two teams will play a midweek game on a mutually agreed-upon date prior to the end of the regular season at Princeton University, Rutledge-Leverenz wrote in an email. Dartmouth’s loss to Harvard on Oct. 29 will stand as a loss for the Big Green.

After consulting with athletic directors, the Ivy League office made the decision. In preparation, the League received ideas from other conferences with related situations, though the situation currently faced by the Ivy League is somewhat unique. Penn and Columbia are both guaranteed seven conference games, the original expectation for the players and the coaches. Each team will need to earn the win, instead of being awarded a forfeiture win, as some conferences have elected to do in the past. Gail Dent, associate director of media and public relations for the NCAA, wrote in an email that “the policy and procedure of determining who will receive a conference's automatic bid to participate in NCAA championships is at the full discretion of the conference.”

Before the cancellation, Harvard stood first in the conference standings, had the inside track on the Ivy League title and the automatic NCAA Tournament berth. After Harvard’s season cancellation, Dartmouth and Columbia now sit tied for first positon in the League. Each have a 3-1-1 record with two games left on their schedules. If they end the season with the same record, both schools will claim a share of the Ivy League title. However, due to Dartmouth’s 1-0 win against Columbia on Oct. 22, the Big Green would win the tiebreaker for the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Dartmouth has two remaining games. The first is an away game against Cornell University — currently eighth in the conference standings — on Nov. 5, and the second is a home fixture against Brown University — fifth in the league — on Nov. 12. Columbia’s remaining schedule includes Cornell on Nov. 13 and Penn — which has the fourth best conference record — at a time to be determined.