Women To Face Bears in Repeat

Less than two weeks after a strong offensive performance catapulted Harvard women’s soccer over Brown, the Crimson will face the Bears once more, this time at Soldiers Field Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium.

On Wednesday, Harvard (7-4-3, 2-2-1 Ivy) will take on Brown (7-6-0, 1-4-0 Ivy) in its first non-conference Ivy League game in program history.

Having faced the same Bears team earlier in the season allows the Crimson to anticipate the competition and correct errors made in the previous game, according to junior co-captain Peyton Johnson.

“I think having played them before definitely gives us some things to work on,” Johnson said. ”They have the same advantage having played us—it’ll be interesting to see what happens.”

Harvard is looking to rebound off of a tough loss, 3-1, to Princeton on Saturday that knocked it out of Ivy League title contention.

Prior to the loss to the Tigers, the Crimson had outscored its last two opponents, 12-3, to capture four wins in five games. But against Princeton, Harvard offense struggled to find its footing.

The lone Crimson goal by freshman forward Lauren Varela 69 minutes into the game tied the match at 1-1, but the Tigers struck back twice in the final ten minutes to claim the victory.

Harvard looks to regain its offensive firepower by fixing those key mistakes.

“I think it’s going to be important for us to kind of get back into a rhythm,” sophomore goalkeeper Bethany Kanten said. “It’s going to be important for our confidence to start to get back into rhythm as a team and start playing good soccer and scoring goals again.”

The loss to Princeton was the first for the Crimson in nearly a month, which last saw defeat on Sept. 21 in its conference opener at Penn.

“It’s about starting over because we had a huge setback against Princeton,” Harvard coach Ray Leone said. “We just have to kind of regroup and focus on playing and having fun and improving.”

Although a championship is no longer in the picture, Johnson recognizes the importance of her team’s last non-conference game of the year.

“I think it’ll be a defining moment for us, how we respond to being out of the Ivy League title race,” Johnson said. “The season still matters a lot for our program and for our team going forward, so responding to that loss [to the Tigers] will be huge.”

The Bears fared better than the Crimson last weekend as they put up a strong defensive showing on Sunday, narrowly defeating Cornell, 1-0, to break a five-game losing streak.

Junior forward Louisa Pitney scored Brown’s only goal less than ten minutes into the game, lofting the ball over Big Red goalkeeper Tori Christ into the left corner of the net. Goalkeeper Amber Bledsoe, ensured that the Bears were the only team on the scoreboard, tallying three saves.

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