Overtime has not been kind to the Harvard men’s soccer team. After knotting the score at one in the second half, the Crimson’s comeback attempt was cut short when No. 19 Brown notched a golden goal in the 97th minute to take a 2-1 win.
The loss dropped Harvard (1-7-3, 0-2-1 Ivy) to 0-2-3 in overtime contests.
Brown (9-1-2, 2-0-1) wasted little time finding the back of the net in the extra period, as sophomore forward Ben Maurey centered the ball to senior defender Dylan Remick in the box just over six minutes into the extra period, who then powered the ball into the upper middle of the net.
“I thought we did a really good job of just battling in general,” junior defender Ross Friedman said. “Brown is a team that likes to test the other team…. They like to challenge you and see how tough you are. They’ll make the game ugly, they’ll make the game physical, and they’ll try to get into your head. I thought we did a very good job of responding to that and throwing it right back at them.”
In the opening 20 minutes, the Bears supplied offensive pressure, taking five shots and earning three corner kicks. Harvard’s first shot came in the 23rd minute when freshman forward Jake Freeman rocketed the ball into senior goalkeeper Sam Kernan-Schloss’ hands.
Brown responded by putting the first point on the scoreboard fifteen minutes later. Junior forward Voltaire Escalona crossed the ball to senior midfielder Bobby Belair, who then executed a diving header to put the ball in the net. The Bears ended the period outshooting the Crimson, 11-6.
“We made small mistakes with not paying attention, not making that extra rush to get back,” senior forward Zack Wolfenzon said. “We’re almost there.”
Less than two minutes into the second half, Harvard came back to tie up the score off an unassisted goal by Freeman. The rookie dribbled it through the Brown defense and drilled a shot into the lower left corner of the net to score his second goal of the season.
“At the second half, we came out and were like ‘Hey, this is our season, and we got to come back and score a goal,’” Friedman said.
In the second half, freshman goalkeeper Evan Mendez was strong in the net, saving six shots. Although the Crimson outshot the Bears, 7-6, in the second period, the Harvard offense was not able to capitalize on another attempt, and the match moved into overtime.
“I thought we had more chances and clearer chances in the second half,” Wolfenzon said. “We could’ve put the game away.”
Heading into overtime with the score 1-1 the Bears pressured offensively and had two corner kicks in the first three minutes of play.
Harvard had a chance in the 94th minute, but Freeman’s attempt went wide.
In the 97th minute, Maurey passed the ball to Remick who placed the ball over the head of Mendez to secure the win for Brown.
“We had a few small mistakes on both sides of the ball,” Wolfenzon said. “Both of their goals could have been avoided with maybe a little more focus and a bit more communication. They scored two great goals, but I think we need to be a little more tuned in. We really had a chance to win that game.”
Overall the Bears outshot the Crimson, 22-13, but Harvard edged out Brown on corner kicks, 6-5. Mendez registered eight saves and Freeman had six shots for the match.
With the loss, Harvard dropped to 1-7-3 on the year.
“It’s tough to talk about our record because we’re 1-7-3, but I don’t think it speaks to how good we are as a team,” Friedman said. “I think we played one of the toughest schedules in the country. We played every big-time team on the East Coast and two big-time teams on the West Coast. We’re a good team, but it’s just tough when we’re not getting the results.”
“We have an unbelievably talented group of kids,” Wolfenzon said. “We’re all behind coach [Carl] Junot and the rest of the coaching staff 100 percent. We like what they’re doing; we like the way we are playing in practice. It’s fun, and we’re having a good time.”