For almost a full 110 minutes Saturday afternoon, fans of Harvard women's soccer feared that the one seemingly invincible Crimson team had met its match as the visiting University of Connecticut Huskies played the home team to a 1-1 tie through the first 108 minutes of the game. Not until the closing minutes of the second and final overtime period was the Crimson able to escape with their second tally and a 2-1 victory for their third win of the season against no losses.
With 1:56 left on the clock, speedy forward Cat Ferrante tapped a bounding ball into position for Sue St. Louis who blasted a 20-yd. shot past the outstretched UConn goalie Sue Proctor, to record the margin of victory.
More than an hour and a half earlier Ferrante and St. Louis had combined for the first Harvard score with the roles reversed. St. Louis went deep into the right corner to recover the ball and head it into the middle. The waiting Ferrante brought the ball quickly under control and pushed off a left-footed groundshot that grazed the goalpost on its way in for a score.
The Huskies scored the first goal of the season against the Crimson's airtight defense when striker Jana Duffy slid through the defense early in the second half and pushed a hard chip shot by sophomore goalie Barb Mahon.
The Harvard defense played well despite the absence of two injured fullbacks, veterans Stefi Baum and Sally Kingsberg. The reassignment of players to foreign positions threw the Crimson off slightly but Coach Bob Scalise was able to juggle his players to fill the gaps. Freshman Laura Mayer, ordinarily a forward, did an excellent job of filling in for Kingsberg at right fullback.
"It is good to be able to depend on the team's depth," said tri-captain Ellen Hart. "The freshmen who played today did an incredible job," Hart added.
Center halfback Jeanne Piersiak continues to be a bright spot. The tenacious freshman from Needham played as though she owned every mud puddle on the field. Darting about with reckless abandon, Piersiak slid in the mud several times in successful attempts to regain possession of the ball.
The Crimson had not expected the Huskies to play such a tight game. The report that UMass, the only team to beat Harvard last season, had stunned the Huskies 6-1 brought on visions of a romp. But UConn coach Margaret Dunlop had regrouped her young team and when they stepped on the field Saturday they refused to be intimidated. While the Crimson was constantly within scoring range, the aggressive play of fullback Sue LaVigne thwarted the mighty Crimson offense time after time.
regulation play, the Crimson reappeared on the field fully ready to control play in the overtime periods. Completely adjusted to each others' styles of play, the squad once again looked like a unit as they outshot the UConn team 15-1 in those final twenty minutes.
"Considering our injuries and all the reshuffling we had to do, I was very pleased with the game's outcome and especially with the way we dominated the overtime periods," Scalise said yesterday. "Had we played that way all along I am sure the score would have been more lopsided."
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