Tracy Hackeling is a fast learner.
After scoring the first goal on a header in overtime, the sophomore forward used her head again and tallied in the second overtime period to give the Harvard women's soccer team a 2-0 victory over Yale yesterday in front of 70 fans at Ohiri Field.
Hackeling learned her lessons on the first goal, and was more than ready for her second chance.
"The second one I saw coming," Hackeling said. "The first one I didn't. I just went up for it."
Hackeling nailed the ice-breaker with 30 seconds remaining in the first overtime period when sophomore Christin Biggs chipped a crossing pass from the right side over Yale goalkeeper Allison Murphy.
The Crimson's second goal came three minutes into the second overtime period when Hackeling deflected a perfect corner kick from junior Jen Gifford.
The goals highlighted the Crimson's best all-around performance of the past two seasons. With crisp passing, smart play combinations and outstanding defense, the Crimson (5-7 overall, 3-2 Ivy League) outplayed a hustling Yale team (3-8-1, 1-3-1) for most of the contest's 120 minutes.
"It was a shame to have to go into overtime," Harvard Coach Tim Wheaton said. "But that was one of the best Yale teams I've seen."
Aided by the wind, the Crimson peppered the Yale net with shots in the first half, but Murphy was able to turn them all away. Harvard wound up outshooting the Elis in the match by a whopping 32-11 margin.
A strong Harvard defense kept Yale from getting its first shot of the game off Crimson netminder Beth Reilly until 30 minutes into the first half. The Elis, however, had the best chance of the period, putting the ball in Harvard's net with two minutes left to play. The play was called back because of a Yale foul.
Both teams had chances in the evenly--played second--half, but Murphy and Reilly--who earned her first shutout of the season--each made several outstanding saves to keep the game scoreless.
The Crimson defense, notably Gifford and freshman fullback Amy Weinstein, cleared the ball effectively and helped Harvard's counter attack.
Junior sweeper Andie Montalbano, who usually hangs back on defense, took the offensive by making overlapping runs and carrying the ball into the Yale zone. Her runs created several excellent scoring chances.
"I thought that Andie had the best game of her career," Wheaton said.
Despite the fact that Brown had already clinched the Ivy League title, Harvard did not let up the pressure at all during the contest.
The Crimson will host the Bruins in the season finale Saturday and Wheaton is hoping that Harvard's momentum will carry into that game, and then on into next season.
"We're looking at the Brown game as the first game of next season," Wheaton said.
THE NOTEBOOK: Hackeling's four goals gives her eight points and second place on the scoring list behind Captain Amy Winston.