The number two has been a charm for the Harvard women's soccer team this year.
That's because in their first two games, the booters have racked up two wins with two shutouts, while scoring two goals in each victory.
After defeating Springfield College, 2-0, Tuesday, the Crimson rolled over the University of Vermont by an identical score Saturday in Burlington.
While the Crimson's offense had trouble cashing in on scoring opportunities in its opener, the coordination between the midfield and forward lines improved against the Catamounts.
And that proved very important in a game that ultimately hinged on the midfield, with both squads struggling to gain possession.
"It worked out perfectly for us," said Crimson Coach Bob Scalise, "because since the Springfield game"--where Harvard didn't score until OT--"we'd been working on going from the midfield third [of the field] to attacking positions."
Before the Cantabs got their feet into gear Saturday, however, they suffered a brief--but potentially disastrous--spell of lethargy.
Vermont, ranked nationally in pre-season polls, was gunning for 12th-ranked Harvard after dropping decisions to Boston College and New Hampshire College, and tying Plymouth State.
"Vermont came out in a do-or-die situation, gave it their all, and pinned us in our defensive end for the first 10 minutes of the game," Scalise explained.
After the hosts unleashed one unpleasantly close shot on goal, though, the Crimson broke out of its temporary stupor. "That [shot] woke us all up," Scalise said.
Fully alert, the booters began to take control.
Twenty-three minutes into the game, Harvard forward Karin Pinezich intercepted a pass by Vermont goalie Collette Goodhue and lined a shot high into the net from 20 yards out.
Then, 18 minutes into the second half, Pinezich tallied again to provide, the Crimson with its eventual winning margin.
The second goal followed a series of Harvard passes that left forward Electa Sevier one-on-one with the Catamount netminder. With Goodhue's attention focused on Sevier, Pinezich swept by and netted an uncontested shot.
The play of the Crimson's defensive corps was once again outstanding.
Lori Barry, Julie Sasner, Cari Lyn Beck and Mary Beth Healy again anchored the squad, and goalie Tracee Whitley picked up her second shutout while recording five saves.
Harvard travels to the University of New Hampshire Tuesday, hoping to preserve its unblemished record.