Golden Goal Pushes Yale Past Harvard
October 03, 2005
The women’s soccer team’s loss to No. 23 Yale at Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium on Saturday was a game full of firsts.
The 2-1 overtime loss marked the first time all season when the Crimson (5-3-1, 0-1-1 Ivy) was not shut out in a loss, and the first time Harvard had lost in overtime.
Freshman forward Alison Keeley scored off a corner kick in the 28th minute to give the Crimson an early lead. But the Bulldogs (11-2, 2-0) came back to tie the game and notch a goal in the extra frame to keep the Crimson winless in the Ivies.
"The Ivies are still wide open unless someone has an undefeated season," Keeley said. "We just have to go into every game, do what we did in the last two, and just figure out how to get results next time."
Freshman midfielder Rachael Lau, who returned from a sprained ankle after not practicing all week, assisted on Keeley’s goal when served a low corner kick from the left side into a busy goal area.
"It was sort of chaos," said junior co-captain back Laura Odorczyk. "Someone slipped it back in front of the net. Ali just got a low shot, and it went in the corner."
Keeley’s second collegiate goal allowed the Crimson to play with the lead for the next 34 minutes.
"Rather than scoring and sitting back, we kept playing our game," Keeley said. "It felt good to be on top, and we kept going at them trying to get another one. I think that was a good time for us."
But in the 62nd minute, Yale netted the equalizer.
Christina Huang crossed the ball in front of the Harvard net, where Jamie Ortega squirted a shot off inside of the six-yard box.
"We were trying to clear it," Odorczyk said. "It hit off a couple people, and [Ortega] got a foot on it and it went in."
It was the first time that a Crimson opponent had found the back of the net in 485:47 minutes of play. Captain goalkeeper Katie Shields and the Harvard defense had recorded four shutouts in a row and had not let a goal past since Boston College scored a pair Sept. 11.
The Bulldogs entered the game with a similarly tough backfield that had allowed only four goals in its first 10 games. But it was the Yale defense that ultimately held up.
The golden goal came off the head of Crysti Howser, who took a cross from Laurel Karnes in front of the Crimson net. Just 2:31 into overtime play, Karnes crossed the ball from the far left outside to the waiting Howser.
"It was actually a really nice goal," Odorczyk said. "But we wish it could have been for us."
It was Howser’s fifth goal, one tally shy of Harvard’s six goals on the season. The freshman leads the Bulldogs with 12 points.
Karnes’ cross from the outside was part of a Yale style of play that threw the Crimson for a loop. The Bulldogs played with their outside midfielders very wide, leaving room for the backs to come up the field.
"They would just send more attackers up," Keeley said. "They played fast. They played quick."
For a Harvard offense that usually pinches its midfield in toward the middle of the field, the adjustment to the outside was a tough one.
"Yale played differently than anything we’d ever really seen," Odorczyk said. "We just got pulled out of shape really easily. We had to adjust to them a lot."
Shields, who has been phenomenal in goal this season with six shutouts, recorded six saves on Saturday, all in the second half. Yale outshot the Crimson 22-6 on the day, but only eight of those shots were on goal, while Harvard put four of its shots on the net.
Chloe Beizer started in goal for the Bulldogs, making one save before Susan Starr took over for the second half and overtime. Starr had two saves.
Yale extended its winning streak to 11 and remains undefeated in Ivy play after beating Princeton last weekend.
The Crimson’s tie and loss in Ivy play make for an inauspicious start. However, in a league where any team can win anytime, Harvard is far from out of the running.
The Crimson hosts Rhode Island at Ohiri Field in a nonconference matchup on Wednesday before resuming Ivy play against Cornell in Ithaca on Saturday.
—Staff writer Carrie H. Petri can be reached at email@example.com.