Don't look now, but the Harvard soccer team has won two games in a row. Shocking though it may seem, the Crimson shut out Dartmouth 2-0 yesterday afternoon on the Business School Field to even their record at 3-3-1 and in all probability, climb into the New England top 20.
Pretty soon people are going to expect Harvard to win.
By itself, the blanking of Dartmouth was no surprise. The Big Green entered the game at 2-4-1 and had lost to U.Conn. 4-1, a club that only edged the Crimson, 2-1. And from the beginning Harvard always looked more lickly to score, pepering Darmouth's Andy Frehling with 26 shots while the Crimson's Billy Blood had to fend off only 12.
Harvard did suffer a minor letdown in the first half, coming off their stunning 2-1 mid-week upset of URI. But while the ball wandered from end to end as both clubs played scrappy rather than precision soccer. Harvard still created the better chances to score.
After 16 minutes Walter Diaz banged a turn-around shot that Frehling gratefully cradled in his arms. Ten minutes later, John Sanacore's long throw-in floated untouched in front of the Green goalmouth; moments after that. Walter Diaz dropped the ball to sophomore Mauro Keller-Sarmiento who steered a ground shot wide of the left post.
Dartmouth had its best chance at the 35-minute mark. Green forward Dave Hartzell tapped a high bouncing ball wide with his head as Blood came off the goal line and then hesitated out of position.
Harvard dominated the second half, as assistant coach Kevin Walsh said. "Harvard settled into its normal game, and started stretching the defense out." Once stretched, the Dartmouth defense showed gaping holes.
Halfbacks Michael Smith and Andy Kronfeld worked fluidly with Alberto Villar and Keller-Sarmiento on the wings while Mike Mogollon and Walter Diaz looked dangerous in the middle. Even the fullbacks. Lorenzo DiBonaventura and skipper Sanacore helped the offense, distributing long balls to the wings and stepping in to cut off Dartmouth's attempts to move the ball past mid-field.
Harvard's first goal came at 11:37 of the half. A soft Sanacore free kick found its way to Dave Eaton via A Dartmouth head. Eaton gently nodded the ball over the outstretched arms of Krahling who had come out to try and corral the ball.
Continued pressure gave Harvard other chances as Smith and Kronfeld headers went wide, and a Smith shot bounced off the goalie and sat two feet in front of an open goal before Dartmouth fullback Rich Monteith cleared it to the side.
Harvard sealed the victory at 38:51. Walter Diaz beat one back, isolated the last fullback, and slipped the ball to Mike Mogollon who boomed a hard shot off Krahling's hand into the upper left-hand corner of the goal.
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