Bradley, Estevez Combination Powers M. Booters Past Butler
Crimson Notches 2-0 Shutout, Improves Record to 2-1
Of course the season is still young, but the Harvard men's soccer team appears to be on its way to turning things around after a disappointing 1990 campaign.
After finishing second in a very competitive UNLV tournament last weekend, the Crimson (2-1 overall) blanked Butler at Ohiri Field yesterday, 2-0.
Butler (3-3), which is situated in Indianapolis, is playing only its third season of Division I ball and only its first year with a full slate of Division I competition. Last year, Butler was an impressive 14-6.
"I expected Harvard to be a little sounder, a little more skillful," Butler Coach Langdon Kumler said. "I think we outplayed them in the first half. Our problem is on set plays. In the second half, Harvard outplayed us."
This is despite the fact that most of the Crimson players would admit that many of their opponents are more skilled than the Crimson. Nevertheless, Harvard was outplayed by the weaker Butler squad in the first half.
But the Crimson headed into the intermission ahead, 1-0.
Midway through the first half, Harvard nearly scored when junior Jason Luzak got a breakaway opportunity. But his smash was deflected off the chest of diving Butler goalie David McVay, and the follow-up shot trickled wide right.
Sound like last season?
Well, no need to worry. The Crimson has learned that if you continue to pressure the opposing defense, opportunities will continue to arise.
Soon after, at the 38:29 mark, the scoring star of the afternoon, Joe Bradley, tallied his first goal. Junior forward Juan Betancourt crossed a direct penalty kick into the box, and Bradley managed to get free in front of the near post to punch the ball past McVay into the lower left corner of the net.
Some claimed that the ball actually deflected off Crimson forward Alex Estevez before hitting the twines, but either way the score-board still read 1-0 in favor of Harvard.
Asked about the play after the game, Bradley was all smiles.
"I'm claiming [the goal]," said Bradley with a big grin on his face. "All I'm saying is that it's my goal."
Officially, the goal still belongs to Bradley. But after careful review and much debate, the team came to the consensus that the goal was the work of Estevez.
There was no doubt about who scored in the second half, however. Once again off a penalty kick, Captain Brian Enge booted the ball from the top of the box. Junior Jason Luzak controlled the ball and tapped it back toward Bradley, who sent the ball into the upper right corner to give the Crimson a two-goal advantage.
"That was as nice a goal as you're going to see," Harvard Coach Mike Getman said. "In the past Joe has been one of our strongest defensive players. Today he stepped up on the offense."
"I see myself and Jeremy [Amen] holding down the midfield," added Bradley, "But when opportunity arises, we can both score."
After a sluggish start, Harvard kept the pressure on the Butler defense, finishing with 16 shots on goal to Butler's 12. At the other end of the field, the Crimson defense played another outstanding game, as Reilly was forced to make only two saves.
"It hasn't really been me, but the defense up front that has been doing all the work," Reilly said. "Lenny Ilkhanoff has been tremendous. We have tremendous experience on the defense." Goals: B--none; H--Joe Bradley (Juan Betan-court) 38:29, Bradley (Brian Enge, Jason Luzak). Saves: B--David McVay 6; H--Jamie Reilly 2. Corner Kicks: Butler 5; Harvard 4 Shots: Butler 12; Harvard 16 Offsides: Butler 0; Harvard 6 Yellow Cards: B--Chad Gabbard 54:10, Scott Lawler 63:44; H--Luzak 62:23, Alex Estevez 71:04.
Goals: B--none; H--Joe Bradley (Juan Betan-court) 38:29, Bradley (Brian Enge, Jason Luzak).
Saves: B--David McVay 6; H--Jamie Reilly 2.
Corner Kicks: Butler 5; Harvard 4
Shots: Butler 12; Harvard 16
Offsides: Butler 0; Harvard 6
Yellow Cards: B--Chad Gabbard 54:10, Scott Lawler 63:44; H--Luzak 62:23, Alex Estevez 71:04.