CHESNUT HILL—Harvard senior midfielder Sara Sedgwick fired the penalty kick to the right. Boston College junior goalie Arianna Criscione dove to her left. And with an audible smack, the Crimson’s hopes of upsetting the No. 11 Eagles dribbled harmlessly away from the goal.
Trailing 1-0 in the first half, Harvard (2-2-0) was awarded a penalty kick after freshman midfielder Rachel Lau intercepted a pass and was subsequently tripped in the box as she sped toward the goal. But Criscione made a fantastic save on Sedgwick’s low shot, preserving the lead for BC (5-0-0), which would eventually win by a score of 2-0 in Chestnut Hill yesterday.
“It was a well-taken kick,” said senior midfielder Maile Tavepholjalern. “The goalie just guessed right.”
The Crimson would have precious few other opportunities to score, managing just three shots against the top-ranked team in the Northeast.
Pressing in the second half, the Eagles would eventually put the game away when freshman midfielder Caroline Walden dribbled past multiple Harvard defenders and fired a high shot over co-captain goalie Katie Shields.
“It was a well-struck ball,” said Shields of the shot that flew over her outstretched fingertips. “[Walden] just beat me.”
Earlier in the game, BC got on the board first on a give-and-go in the Crimson box. Shields rushed out to cut down the angle, but junior forward Molly Dane was able to slide a shot into the far side of the goal.
The deficit ultimately proved too much for Harvard to overcome, though the team was upbeat about its performance.
“I thought we played really well,” said Tavepholjalern. “We won a majority of the fifty-fifty balls. It was unfortunate that we got scored on in the first half.”
As the game progressed, the Crimson pushed forward more in an effort to get on the board, but the Eagles defenders repelled every Harvard attack. The match also got progressively more physical, as evidenced by the 10 fouls that BC was whistled for in the second half as well as the yellow card that Sedgwick picked up for a hard tackle.
“We knew going in that they were going to be good competition,” said Shields. “There were some unlucky breaks on both sides. The result doesn’t reflect it, but we took it to them for ninety minutes, and it was the best we’ve played all year.”
The Crimson could muster only two shots on goal during the course of the game—an outcome that has been a trend in the early season games. Harvard has fired more than four shots on goal just once in its first four games.
The Eagles, on the other hand, sent 17 shots toward the Crimson goal, seven of which were on target. The five saves for Shields were her most in any game so far this season.
“I like [facing a lot of shots],” said Shields. “It’s more fun to have more action.”
After four games on the road, Harvard will return home on Thursday for the Harvard Invitational, which will feature Ohio State, Miami (Ohio) and Northeastern.
“It will be nice to have our first home game,” said Shields. “Ohio State is a great team, and we’re looking forward to a great game.”
—Staff writer Jonathan P. Hay can be reached at email@example.com.