A shutout is nothing new for the Harvard women’s soccer team. Scoring more than one goal, however, is something out of the ordinary.
After a recent run of two ties and one loss, Harvard (6-3-2, 1-1-1 Ivy) broke out with its eighth shutout of the season, beating Cornell Saturday 3-0 at Berman Field. The defeat was the fourth straight for the Big Red (6-4-0, 1-2-0).
It was the first time that the Crimson eclipsed the one-goal barrier on the season.
“It was really exciting scoring three goals,” freshman midfielder Erin Wylie said. “I think that scoring three goals is really good for us because our confidence is up. We’ve been having trouble with shooting, so to finally connect up top was good.”
Harvard started out strong, putting one goal past Cornell’s junior goalie Katrina Matlin. Wylie—the team’s top scorer—tallied the goal while in the box with an assist from sophomore midfielder Jamie Greenwald. The goal, Wylie’s third of the season, was scored only 2:20 into the game.
Cornell managed to outshoot the Crimson 10-7 throughout the remainder of the first half, but was ultimately unable to match Harvard’s one goal, ending the first half down one.
Cornell continued its strong attack in the second half, outshooting Harvard 12-7. But the Crimson successfully held the Big Red scoreless while putting two more goals past Matlin over the final 45 minutes.
Senior forward Sara Sedgwick scored the second goal of the game at 56:04. The unassisted goal, Sedgwick’s first of the season, was shot from midfield and cruised over Matlin’s head, putting Harvard up 2-0.
“It was the first time this year that we’ve scored more than one goal in a game, so that was really huge for us,” junior captain Laura Odorczyk said. “We’ve been struggling with our offense a lot this year, and we knew we had to start putting our shots in the goal if we wanted to win our games.”
With less than five minutes left on the clock at 85:31, freshman midfielder Rachael Lau scored the last goal of the game off of sophomore midfielder Megan Kerr’s centering pass.
Odorczyk noted the important contribution of different players stepping up on offense.
“So far this season there have been a few people consistently scoring goals,” she said. “Our coaches always tell us that anyone can score at anytime. We’ve all been focusing on getting everyone forward in practice, so it’s great to finally see something come of that and to see our work pay off in games.”
“It really helped us boost our confidence,” Odorczyk added, “because now we know that we can score that many goals, and we will try to score as many goals in games to come.”
Senior goalie Katie Shields had 10 saves in her eighth shutout of the season.
“A shutout is huge because if we were not letting in goals we can’t lose in ties,” Odorczyk said. “The shutouts have been a really big part of our success this year.”
Harvard takes to the field again Wednesday, Oct. 12, when it travels to Worcester, Mass. to face Holy Cross at 3 p.m.
The Crimson resumes Ivy League competition Saturday when it hosts Brown at 11 a.m.
—Staff writer Samantha A. Papadakis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.