At the end of the first half, the Harvard women’s soccer team remained in a scoreless deadlock with last-place Brown. Despite outshooting the Bears, 10-4, in the first 45 minutes of the conference matchup, including five on goal, the Crimson could not find the back of the net.
Then Meg Casscells-Hamby went off.
The sophomore midfielder was all over the field, posting two goals and adding two assists in the second half as Harvard blitzed past Brown on Saturday afternoon in Providence.
“Meg was awesome,” sophomore goalkeeper Bethany Kanten said. “Last year and this year, she’s just been a huge part of our offense. She scores a lot and is obviously a big playmaker, but she also sets up other people to score, which is important because she’s dangerous in a lot of different ways.”
The Bears got a good glimpse at all facets of Casscells-Hamby’s game as she led the Crimson to victory.
The win was particularly important because it ensured that Harvard, currently fourth in the Ivy League, has a chance to defend its crown, with a game against first-place Princeton still looming.
The four goals were the team’s most since notching five against New Hampshire on Sept. 25, 2011.
“It was nice to go out in the second half and finish [on] our opportunities, because we’ve had a little bit of trouble doing that this season,” Casscells-Hamby said. “So it was great that the goals finally came.”
Harvard is undefeated in its last five contests, and the Crimson was able to continue its streak on Saturday by beating the Bears for the fourth time in their past five matchups.
Harvard has held its opponents to just four goals in its last six matches.
In the first half, the Crimson’s defensive dominance continued, but the team sensed urgency and thus came out aggressively on offense to begin the second half, according to Kanten.
“We came out of halftime and realized where we were—we only had 45 minutes to score, Kanten said. “This game was going to determine what happens to the rest of us for the rest of our season, so we realized we had to score.”
Casscells-Hamby came out of the break and led the charge on offense to salvage the season.
Just over five minutes into the second half, the sophomore received the ball off of a deflection after sophomore Lauren Urke’s corner kick. Unfazed, Casscells-Hamby knocked a high shot off the crossbar and in to commence the scoring and put Harvard on top.
She didn’t stay idle for long. Just eight minutes later, she earned an assist on a score by junior forward Elizabeth Weisman, who scored after freshman midfielder Haley Washburn’s header clanked off the crossbar.