Junior forward Derek Mills scored with 1:35 remaining in the second 10-minute overtime to give the Harvard men's soccer team a 4-3 triumph over Yale today at Ohiri Field.
Mills, who also assisted a Nick D'Onofrio tally at 88:02 to send the game into overtime, ran on the ball near the right post and crossed it into the left corner of the net to seal the Crimson victory. Senior midfielder Ramy Rajballie earned an assist on the play.
The game, which ended the season for both teams, had no bearing on the Ivy League championship race. Princeton and Dartmouth clinched a tie for the title with wins last weekend.
Harvard finished the season third in the Ivies, with a 8-3-4 record (5-1-1 league). Yale fell to 7-5-3 (1-4-2 Ivies).
D'Onofrio's goal came after a shot by Mills was deflected by Eli goaltender Bryan Martin. D'Onofrio lunged for the loose ball and headed it into the center of the net.
"I was a the right place at the right time," D'Onofrio said. "That's what you want to do when you are a forward."
Until today, the Crimson offense was having serious scoring difficulties, never tallying more than two goals per contest. But with forwards D'Onofrio, Mills, and junior Dave Kramer turning in their top performances of the season, Harvard's attack was on target today.
"We went out and played attacking soccer," Harvard Coach Mike Getman said. "We created a lot of exciting chances, and for once we finished all of them."
Yale jumped on the scoreboard quickly, with forward Taddy Hall tallying 1:18 into the first period. But Crimson senior midfielder Ramy Rajballie responded with an unassisted tally less, than four minutes later. Rajballie stole the ball from an Eli midfielder and drove into the box for a shot into the left side of the net. A Jeff Farmalo goal at 39:27 gave Yale a 2-1 lead at halftime.
Twelve seconds into the second period, Kramer--last year's leading scorer--knotted the game at 2-2 with his second goal of the season. Yale's Steve Cass tallied at 82:47 for a 3-2 Eli lead, and D'Onofrio sent the game into overtime.
"In the past, [Yale] has not had great forwards, and has sat back a little and defended," Harvard Captain Robert Bonnie said. "It's always been a nil-nil, or one-nothing in every Yale game I've seen."
Mills keyed the Crimson attack and created several scoring opportunities, including a break for the goal with the game 2-2 in the second period. Fouled on the play, Mills earned a penalty kick which was stopped by Martin.
"Anytime Derek is on the field it's dangerous," Getman said. "We could play with ten defenders and Derek and we're still going to score some goals."
Getman didn't go so far as to sweep the forwards from the field, but he did made a few line-up changes. Harvard played an unusual three-back set-up, in part to allow all of the graduating seniors to play, and also because usual starting sophomore sweeper Nick Gates was out with an injury. Getman also substituted senior back-up goaltender Chad Reilly for starter Stephen Hall shortly into the second half.
THE NOTEBOOK: Reilly and Hall each had three saves, while Martin recorded two...Yale outshot the Crimson, 21-11...Last year, the Crimson tied the Elis, 0-0.
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