Brown Shocks Women Booters, 1-0; Lightning Strikes Crimson--Again
PROVIDENCE, R.I.--It was deja vu for the Harvard women's soccer team here in Providence Saturday.
A year ago. Brown tied the booters, 0-0, on the last day of the season to grab a share of the '86 Ivy League title and steal an NCAA tournament bid away from the Crimson.
With the Ivy title on the line again this year, the Crimson suffered a crushing 1-0 loss to the Bruins--a loss that once again knocked the Crimson out of the Ivy race, and possibly out of the running for an NCAA tournament bid.
The victory improved Brown's record to 7-7-1 (5-1 lvies), while Harvard closed out its regular season with an 8-2-3 mark (3-1-2 lvies).
Cornell, who had led the race by a half-game entering the weekend but tied a surprising Princeton squad, and Brown will share the 1987 Ivy League title.
The Ivy League champion usually earns a bid to the NCAA tournament, but a split title does not guarantee a spot for both squads. Harvard--which finished third in the race, a game behind the leaders--may reach the tournament via a regional bid.
Against the physical Bruins, the Crimson cameout a little sluggish in the first half, yieldingnine shots to Brown. One of those shots slipped byHarvard's two-time All-America netminder TraceeWhitley.
The tally came at the 32-minute mark of thefirst half. Sophomore midfielder Kit Schwartzmanchipped a corner kick to Co-Captain TheresaHirschauer. who headed it past Whitley.
"Corner kicks are their strength," HarvardCoach Tim Wheaton said. "It was just a beautifulshot."
Harvard outplayed the Bruins in the secondhalf, taking 10 shots to Brown's two.Unfortunately, the Crimson couldn't knock any byBruin goalie Kathy Tarnoff.
"In the second half, every one responded,"Wheaton said. "We had a much higher level of playand we generated lots of chances. The ball justdidn't drop."
If Harvard doesn't make it to the nationaltourney, six seniors--Whitley, Co-Captain KarinPinezich, midfielders Julie Sasner and Julie Agar,and fullbacks Lori Barry and Cari Lyn Beck--willhave played their last Harvard match.
"I couldn't have asked for a better group ofseniors--as leaders, players and people," Wheatonsaid. "They've made unbelievable contributions."
Late last night, the winners of five regionaland seven at-large bids to the NCAA tournamentwere announced. Although there is a chance thatthe NCAA will award the Crimson a regionalbid--two bids are generally awarded in NewEngland--Wheaton said he couldn't predict what thecommittee will do.
One of the New England bids will surely go toUMass, the second-ranked power who crushedHarvard, 4-0, earlier this year. The committeemust decide whether the 7-7-1 Ivy Co-Champsdeserve the bid more than the 8-2-3 Crimson. Thetournament will begin next week.
THE NOTEBOOK:Pinezich--who led theCrimson in scoring last season--finished theregular season with five goals and three assiststo lead the Crimson with 13 points...Whitleyclosed out her regular season with an 0.54goals-against average, and nine shutouts...Sasnerplayed against the Bruins despite an ankle injurywhich kept her out of the Yale game...Harvardoutshot Brown, 15-11, in the contest.