Think back, if you will, to the 1988 World Series. The mighty Oakland Athletics, a team of big-bashers led by Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire and Terry Steinbach were matched against the lowly Dodgers, a team of journeymen comprised of Mickey Hatcher, Franklin Stubbs, and Rick Dempacy.
The Dodgers, overmatched on paper, actually won the Series by scoring early and relying upon good pitching and defense.
Unfortunately for the Harvard women's soccer team, this upset scenario was realized in yesterday 1-0 loss to Monmouth, shutting out Harvard's own "Bash Brothers"--Emily Stauffer, Kristen Bowes, and Keren Gudeman.
"This was a great win for the program," Monmouth coach Ken Van Schaack said. "We were coming off a disappointing (3-2) loss to B.C. on Saturday and Harvard had a day of rest."
Monmouth capitalized early on a 20-yard blast by sophomore Dana White into the lower, right corner of the Harvard net.
After taking the one-goal lead just 9-07 into the game, the Hawks packed it in defensively, looking for the counter-attack and essentially playing kick-and-run soccer.
Harvard nearly evened the game minutes later when Bowes headed a crossing pass towards the goal. However, Monmouth goalie Lori Houlihan was in superb position and made a great save to preserve the Hawk lead.
The Crimson looked to have caught a break, when the Hawks' captain and All-American candidate Kristie Pearoe went down with an ankle injury at the 33:32 mark.
But the story all afternoon for the Crimson was missed opportunities.
The usually explosive Stauffer missed relatively easy shots with 28 and 25 minutes remaining in the first half and Bowes missed in-close on a great pass from Stauffer at the with 16 minutes to play.
Although Harvard peppered Houlihan with shots throughout the half, many of Harvard's attempts were off-balance and either rolled slowly along the ground or sailed high and wide.
"We didn't put the ball in the back of the net," Harvard coach Tim Wheaton said. "We outshot them 28-to-4, but that's just the nature of the game."
The second half was more of the same for the Crimson.
Gudeman had a one-on-one opportunity against the Monmouth goalie 15 minutes into the half, only to miss over the crossbar.
Five minutes later, an obviously frustrated Bowes grabbed White's shirt and received an elbow to the face in retaliation.
Harvard continued to dominate play and stepped up the intensity a notch in the final five minutes. Perhaps the Crimson's best chance came on a 18-yard blast by Bowes that hit the cross-bar with 2:43 left in the game.
But time finally ran out on Harvard, which, despite dominating play and controlling the ball, suffered its first loss of the season.
"I can't really be disappointed," Wheaton said. "We like to focus on how we play [and] we dominated them." Scoring Mon--White (De Value) 10:00. Savest Mon--Houlihan 14: Har--Burney 0.
Mon--White (De Value) 10:00.
Savest Mon--Houlihan 14: Har--Burney 0.