Season Kicks Off With Road Loss, Victory in Home Opener
Hours before the men’s soccer team emerged victorious in a nail-biter over Northeastern, the fans at Soldiers Field Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium witnessed another dramatic win Sunday.
Earlier that afternoon, the Harvard women’s soccer team knocked in the deciding goal with just three minutes left to play, taking down Elon, 2-1.
After dropping a 2-1 decision at Long Island on Friday, the Crimson (1-1) returned to Cambridge determined to win its first home matchup of the season.
Against the Phoenix, Harvard dominated possession and had the clearest chances of the game, but it took until the second half for the Crimson to break a scoreless deadlock.
Co-captain Melanie Baskind scored off a through ball from freshman Meg Casscells-Hamby 11 minutes into the half, but Phoenix midfielder Kimmie Krauss responded in the 83rd minute with a goal to tie the game. The comeback was quickly quelled four minutes later when sophomore Elizabeth Weisman put away a rebound to give the Crimson the win.
“Obviously you want to hold the game and not give up a goal here or there, but to go give up a goal, how you respond really will tell you how the team is going to be,” Harvard coach Ray Leone said. “That happened Friday night, and we responded; that happened [Sunday] and we responded.”
HARVARD 2, ELON 1
The Crimson found its rhythm and set the contest’s offensive tempo early in the game.
Harvard’s first chance came in the 14th minute when sophomore Alexandra Conigliaro connected with a cross from the right flank only to see her header fly high over an open net.
A minute later, Baskind created enough space from the right to test Elon goaltender Shannon Cosgrove with a shot on goal. The senior led the attack with 10 shots, six of which were on target.
“We ended up in the negative result on Friday, so [Baskind] had to reach deep down today,” Leone said. “She showed great leadership and poise, and she had a really great performance for us.”
The veteran had plenty of help coming from rookie Casscells-Hamby, who was critical in the setup of the game’s first goal. Halfway through the first half, the freshman cut through the middle of the field to send a powerful shot from outside the box to trouble Cosgrove. Casscells-Hamby was second on the team in attempted shots with four.
The Crimson continued attacking the Phoenix goal, creating another opportunity with three minutes left in the first half. A long throw-in from junior Aisha Price led to a scramble in the box, and the Elon defenders failed to clear the ball. Freshman Kate Makaroff ended up with an open shot on goal that she could not put away.
“The freshmen did great stepping up to fill in the holes,” Baskind said. “We definitely have some holes from the graduating class last year, so I think everyone is doing really well coming off the bench.”
Another key performance came from rookie defender Lauren Urke, who took on a more offensive role in the second half.