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Sue St. Louis's thigh was heavily wrapped with ace bandages and tape. So was Kerry Bryan's. Laurie Gregg picked up an ankle injury to add to a sore knee another lingering sore back. But everybody was smiling.
Yesterday afternoon at Soldiers Field, the Harvard women's soccer team, with definite emphasis on the word team, faced its toughest challenge of the season and came out still number one, as they squeaked past Brown, 2-1, in overtime.
"It's a great win--it feels good," Crimson coach Bob Scalise said after the game. "As a team, we just did everything well. Off-the-ball movement, generating offense, picking up on defense. It was a super game."
"This was the first really tough game we've had," co-captain St. Louis said. "It's just a really intense feeling."
St. Louis, the center forward extraordinaire, knocked in both goals for the Crimson, each after a nice pass from freshman back striker Joan Elliott.
But everybody deserves credit for this one, which raised the Crimson's record to 5-0.
Midfielder Sara Fischer and co-captain Gia Johnson turned in their usual strong, consistent play. Gregg, who alternated between halfback and the front line, seemed to be on the ball wherever it went, playing perhaps her best game of what has so far been an outstanding season.
Jeannie Piersiak, Susan Rockwell, Kelly Gately and Laura Mayer virtually shut down Brown's speedy forwards Frances Fusco and Debbie Ching. So well in fact, that Brown changed tactics and moved Fusco to the other side of the field after Rockwell bottled her up for the game's first 80 minutes.
On offense, both Gately and Mayer, who alternate between right wing and right wing fullback, continually streaked down the right side of the field to set up excellent scoring opportunities, and Kerry Bryan, filling in for injured left winger Cat Ferrante, was just as effective on the opposite sideline.
Playing the first full game of her short Harvard career, freshman goaltender Ann Diamond allowed her first goal, but also corraled 11 Brown shots, including several diving saves in front of rushing Bruin forwards.
After a scoreless first half in which Harvard has numerous chances, but saw shots go wide, high and into the arms of Brown goalie George Duffy, Brown finally broke into the scoring column at 17:45 of half number two.
The ever-present Fusco booted a corner kick that crossed the goal mouth to where senior forward Lisa Segbarth waited to boot it in for a 1-0 Bruin lead.
Any team that gives Sue St. Louis a surplus of scoring chances will pay for it sooner or later, and at 19:10, she took a pass from Elliott and blasted the ball past Duffy to tie the score, 1-1.
Both teams had chances to end the game in regulation, the closest on a Debbie Ching drive off the right post with about five minutes to go in the game.
Then it was Elliot leading St. Louis one more time. The co-captain beat All-Ivy fullback Yvonne Goldsberry, who had been hounding her all afternoon, and converted the goal on a roller from just outside the penalty line at 2:22 of the first of two overtime periods.
"It was a team effort--we couldn't let up at all," Laurie Gregg said afterward, and it's certain that no one wearing the Crimson red and white did.
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