CHESTNUT HILL--The Harvard women's soccer team is yet to fall behind in regulation time.
In overtime, it's seen a little bit of everything--a 2-0 season-opening victory over Springfield, a 1-0 home-opener loss to Adelphi, and now a 1-1 tie to Boston College.
Playing in front of over 300 fans at B.C.'s Alumni Stadium last night, the ninth-ranked Crimson (now 3-1-1) and the 11th-ranked Eagles (now 5-1-1) battled to a draw.
And for the second time this year, Harvard had to adjust to fast-paced play on artificial turf.
"Everything has to be much quicker on the turf," Crimson Coach Bob Scalise said. "B.C. has some real dynamic players, whom we did a good job of shutting down."
Throughout the first half, those human dynamos whirled, flipped and bounced in a non-stop attack on the Harvard defense.
To make matters worse, Crimson goalie Tracee Whitley suffered a temporary injury to her left hand early in the game. In a collision with an Eagle forward, a nerve was damaged, leaving her entire hand numb for several minutes.
No matter, though--the entire defense banded around the netminder, and prevented any early damage.
And, despite being outshot and outraced in the opening period, Harvard succeeded in drawing the first blood.
Sixteen minutes into the contest, the booters made one of their first ventures into B.C. territory. Ann Baker, Karen Garibaldi and Brigitte Duffy clustered around the net, drawing out Eagle goalie Sue Hughey.
Baker crossed the ball left to Garibaldi, who tapped it back toward the center--just in time for Baker to knock a bouncer into the empty goal.
The score? 1-0, Harvard.
The shots-on-goal ratio? Maybe 4-1, Boston College.
"It's the scoreboard that counts," Scalise said. "B.C. has such speed and quickness that they pinned us in the first half. But, at the half, we were up."
And in the second stanza, the Crimson offense picked up some of the speed it had been lacking in the opening period.
By the end of the game, Harvard had narrowed the shot margin to 22-10. More important, however, the defense had managed to contain Eagle speedster Betsy Ready, a sophomore midfielder who proved a constant scoring threat.
But in the meantime, the Eagles had found one hole in the tight Crimson defense; with 28 minutes remaining in the game, forward Tara Bergen pulled Whitley out on the right with a high bouncer and then headed the ball into the net.
Harvard shut down the hosts through both of the 10-minute, non-sudden-death overtime periods--thanks to some super stops by Harvard's Cari Lyn Beck and Julie Sasner--but failed to tally itself despite a couple of corner kick opportunities.
THE NOTEBOOK: New national rankings will be released today... Garibaldi's younger sister, Chris, is a freshman on the B.C. squad... In 510 minutes of play so far this season, Harvard has only yielded two goals... Several members of last year's Crimson team were at the game, including Co-Captains Jenny Greeley and Alicia Carillo, and Inga Larsen and Kelly Landry... Boston College had the edge in corner kicks, 7-4... Whitley notched 18 saves, while Hughey registered six... Harvard was ranked fourth in yesterday's New England poll. UMass headed the list, followed by UConn, B.C. and Harvard. Brown, three-time defending Ivy League champion, placed fifth in the region... The Crimson opens its Ivy season with a Friday afternoon game against Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y... The booters will travel to Washington, D.C. over the weekend to participate in the Washington Area Girls' Soccer Tournament. Among the teams they'll face are first-ranked George Mason, 18th-ranked North Carolina State and the University of Maryland. The Eagles will also be playing in the tourney.