Casscells-Hamby Leads Women's Soccer to Win
The Harvard women’s soccer team put on an offensive clinic in the second half against Brown, scoring four goals en route to a convincing 4-1 victory on Saturday afternoon.
After a relatively quiet first half in Providence, R.I., every one of the game’s five goals came in a 17-minute span.
“Once one goal goes in, the next goals come really quickly,” junior forward Elizabeth Weisman said. “I think that after that second goal, we had a lot of fire and a lot of spirit, and we came through and scored more.”
Sophomore midfielder Meg Casscells-Hamby led Harvard (6-3-3, 2-1-1 Ivy) with two goals, her fourth and fifth of the season. Junior forward Elizabeth Weisman and senior defender Taryn Kurcz netted the second and fourth Crimson scores, respectively. After Saturday’s contest, Casscells-Hamby, Kurcz, and Weisman are the Crimson’s top three scorers.
Casscells-Hamby’s first goal of the match came at the 50-minute mark. Only eight minutes later, freshman midfielder Haley Washburn headed the ball off the crossbar, a shot that ultimately rebounded to Weisman, who sent the ball flying past the keeper and into the net.
Four minutes after Weisman connected, Casscells-Hamby knocked in her second goal of the game off a cross from freshman forward Lauren Varela. And with 23 minutes left in the contest, Kurcz initiated a give-and-go with Casscells-Hamby, resulting in strike from Kurcz that bounced off the left post and into the goal.
Before Saturday, Harvard had struggled to ignite its offense. In its last six contests, the team had just one multi-goal game.
But that trend ended against Brown (6-6-0, 0-4-0), as the Crimson’s four scores marked a new season high and matched the team’s output in its past three games combined.
“We just really finished our opportunities,” Casscells-Hamby said. “Whenever we got in front of the net we were really hungry for a goal, and once we got one in they all just started coming. So it was just really exciting to finally get the offensive part of our team going.”
On the night, Harvard tallied 17 shots while only allowing five, the third fewest shots from an opponent all season.
With the loss, Brown extended its losing streak to six games.
Only once this season have the Bears scored more than one goal, a non-conference matchup with Providence over a month ago.
For the Crimson, the victory was critical for the team’s Ivy title chances and kept Harvard within striking distance as the conference season reached its midway point.
With the win, Harvard moved into sole possession of fourth place in the Ivy League, five points behind first-place Princeton.
Although the Crimson will likely need to defeat each of its remaining conference opponents in order to win a second straight league crown, the team plans to stick with its season-long strategy of taking it one game at a time.
“We don’t really look toward the end,” Casscells-Hamby said. “We’re just really excited for our next game and we hope it turns out like this one. We definitely feel momentum coming, and it’s been really fun.”