No. 3 Brown Holds Off Men's Booters
If a single game could represent the frustration of a season, then the Harvard men's soccer team's 2-1 loss to Brown (14-1, 6-0 Ivy) yesterday is it. Even though the Crimson dominated the second half, only a single Harvard shot could find the back of the net, not enough to overcome an early deficit.
Harvard's overtime victory stole the Ivy League championship from Brown last year, and the Bears opened strong yesterday, hungry for revenge.
Brown scored when Harvard (5-7-3, 3-4) failed to clear a corner kick after only 1:28 had expired off the clock. Harvard goaltender Peter Albers (nine saves) stopped the shot off the corner kick, but the Bears got the rebound and Tom James put the second shot past him.
"It was like the ball was in a mixer," Albers said. "They just put the last foot on it and put it past us."
Twenty minutes later, a throw-in helped the Bears find the net again. The throw travelled the full width of the field before Eric Block headed into the goal.
"I think they were very excited coming in after last year," junior Richard Wilmot said. "They were a physical team. They were pretty big, strong and very direct."
Even though Brown controlled the first half, Harvard refused to fold. The Crimson controlled the second half, netting its only goal.
Junior Will Kohler stole a ball deflected as a Brown defender tried to clear it down the left side of the field. He crossed it to Wilmot who was wide open on the right. Wilmot trapped the ball and fired a shot which beat the goalie and made the score 2-1.
Although unable to score again, Harvard controlled the second half. Freshman Zack Viders set up Kohler but Kohler's shot missed the goal. Sophomore Toure McCluskey also had a scoring opportunity off a pass from Wilmot.
"We had a ton of opportunities," Wilmot said. "In the first half we were outplayed but in the second half we just weren't finishing things. In the second half we were in complete control."
The Crimson never gave up, throughout.
"It was really exciting at the end," freshman Jobey Hollinger said. "It's good to see that we didn't fold. If we had given up the score could have been four or five to nothing."
Instead, Harvard played with a team ranked third in the country and first in the northeast. Last week, moreover, the Bears defeated No. 3 UCLA in Los Angeles.
"At the end of the game it looked like we might have won," freshman Armando Petruccelli said. "But like our whole season, the ball just wouldn't go into the net. Things just don't go our way. It's better to be lucky than good and we've had no luck."
The Crimson has two games left to play. Victories in both could bring it to .500 for the season. And with only two seniors on the roster, the team is optimistic about next season.
"We're looking for a foundation [in these two games]," Albers said. "This season hasn't gone as we had planned, but we're trying to translate it into something positive for next year."
Harvard hosts Providence in its final home game on Wednesday at Ohiri Field and travels to Hartwick for its final game on Saturday. Scoring Bro--James (Hughes, Luttusen, Foster) 1:28 Bro--Block (Foster) 24:06. Har--Wilmot 5 (Kohler) 50:34. Saves: Har--Albens 9, Bro--Webb 4
Bro--James (Hughes, Luttusen, Foster) 1:28
Bro--Block (Foster) 24:06.
Har--Wilmot 5 (Kohler) 50:34.
Saves: Har--Albens 9, Bro--Webb 4