There are days when the wind is at your back, the sun is on your side of the field and the numbers are in your favor.
Then, there was Saturday.
As the rain poured down and the scoreboard died, the Harvard women's soccer team lost to Cornell for the first time ever.
Three's were wild.
The Big Red downed Harvard, 3-0, after three years of 0-0 ties.
"Three goals for three years of shutouts," noted Cornell goalie Melissa Gambrell.
Saturday's defeat also increased Harvard's losing streak to three games. The Crimson is now 3-4-0 (1-1 Ivy).
For most of the game, Harvard was on the defensive. Crimson goalie Liz Wald shut down Cornell in the first period, but Cornell's constant offensive pressure soon garnered results.
At 46:00, freshman forward Dina Grossman took a shot off the corner. The ball was deflected off a defender to junior foward Donna Eberhardt who slipped the ball over Wald's head. Eberhardt's goal was Cornell's first against Harvard in four years.
Cornell's second goal came at 57:15. Freshman midfielder Cindy Spera broke through four Harvard defenders and converted a shot from the 25-yd. line.
Spera scored again at 79:50 to give the Big Red a 3-0 lead. Sophmore midfielder Lauren Gallagher dribbled the ball and beat the defense on the left side. Then she brought it to the corner and cut it back to Spera.
"I just put it in," Spera said.
Harvard had 11 shots on goal for the game but could not find a hole. It was a "situation where we played better than the results," said Crimson Coach Tim Wheaton. "At least it wasn't a tie. Unfortunately, [though], it went the wrong way."
The win marks the first time Cornell Coach Randy May, now in his seventh season, beat Harvard. May noted that the teams had played "at least 405 minutes before someone scored."
"Harvard fought the whole way," May added.
For Cornell players and coaches, the victory--and the end of three years of ties--was sweet.
"I'm absolutely delighted. It's beyond words," said Cornell Assistant Coach Kevin Stoneman.
"It was a great win considering what the weather was like," said Captain Jennifer Smith. "It made it all that more special."
THE NOTEBOOK: Harvard's last win came on September 27, a 1-0 victory over Providence...Cornell's record improved to 5-2-0 (3-1-0 Ivy)...Cornell has no seniors on its team...Cornell goalie Melissa Gambrell now has four shutouts...Harvard's next game is Thursday at Connecticut.
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