Harvard continued its recent skid, falling to Boston University yesterday at Nickerson Field by the tally of 3-0. Terriers forward Sedric Chin tallied two goals and an assist as BU (5-6-1, 0-1-1 America East) handed Harvard (4-5-1, 0-2 Ivy) its fourth straight loss.
After a scoreless first half, Chin knocked home his first goal with 31:14 remaining, creating a deficit the Crimson would not surmount.
“That first goal just kind of flicked through and was kind of a letdown,” senior defenseman William Craig said.
After that tally, the Harvard defense again stiffened, but a goal with 9:17 remaining and Chin’s second goal with just 5:52 to play put away all hope the Crimson had of a comeback.
This marks the fourth consecutive game that Harvard has surrendered three or more goals. This streak comes after the Crimson allowed just three goals over the first six games of the season, and in this case was against a BU team that had been shut out six times in its first 11 games. But 60 minutes of shutout soccer shows some signs that the Crimson might be coming out of their defensive funk.
“I was real happy going to the half with the shutout,” Craig said. “Hopefully we can build on that.”
The importance of a defensive recovery is not lost on Harvard coach John Kerr.
“We understand the level that we were at earlier in the season, and we need to build ourselves up to that level,” Kerr said. “We have to reflect on the past, but not dwell on that.”
But the defense was not aided by an offense that mustered just eight shots against the Terrier defense. Two excellent scoring chances for senior forward Charles Altcheck narrowly missed the net, and Harvard was unable to create offensive pressure after effective performances in the past two games. The shutout was the first for the Crimson since the season opener against another America East Conference opponent, Vermont. The game marked the second consecutive shutout, and the second of the season, for the Terriers defense after blanking Albany on Sunday.
“On offense, when guys are finishing, they’ll keep finishing,” Craig said, “but when they’re not finishing, it’s easy to get down on yourself.”
But with struggles on both sides of the ball, Harvard must rebound quickly. Five of the seven remaining games on the Crimson’s slate, including the next three, are within the Ivy League. But Harvard is optimistic about its prospects for a recovery.
“We’ve just got to take it one game at a time, one half at a time,” Kerr said. “We’ve got Brown coming up, I’m sure there won’t be any problems getting excited for that game.”
Harvard will face Brown on Saturday at Ohiri Field, and the Bears are presently tied atop the Ivy League standings with Dartmouth and Cornell.