Although it won't add a mark in the win column, the Harvard men's soccer team managed a 1-1 overtime `victory' over Boston University at Nickerson Field last night.
The Crimson (3-3-1 Overall) earned considerable respect in its standoff against the 18th-ranked Terriers.
"We're quite satisfied," junior full-back Josh Morris said. "Whenever you can come out of a road game with a win, you've got to be satisfied."
The game's first 90 minutes were marked by a series of momentum changes, beginning with a Crimson surge during the opening 20 minutes. Despite consistent pressure in the B.U. zone, however, Harvard couldn't produce any real scoring threat.
B.U. recovered from its early sluggishness and rebounded to live up to its national ranking. The Terriers dominated the middle of the game, testing Crimson keeper Jamie Reilly. For the final 25 minutes of the first half and most of the second half, B.U. kept the pressure in Harvard's zone.
The Crimson offense reclaimed the momentum that it had lost in the first half and kept pressure in the B.U. zone during the final minutes of regulation. That pressure continued into overtime, when Harvard put the game's first goal on the underworked scoreboard.
The Terriers helped Harvard's cause by playing a man short during most of the overtime. A B.U. defender did his best Chris Nilan imitation by drawing a red card at the beginning of the frame.
Moments later, sophomore Juan Betancourt brought retribution to the Terriers. Eleven minutes into the overtime, Betancourt intercepted a pass deep in the Terrier zone, and chipped the ball over the outstretched B.U. keeper.
Harvard held the lead until one minute into the second half of the overtime, when B.U. capitalized on a Crimson mistake. A Harvard penalty lead to a free kick for B.U. at the 20-yard line. Terrier freshman Emesih Okereke lifted the free kick past Reilly and just under the far goalpost.
The Crimson quickly recovered and had two scoring chances in the game's waning minutes. Jason Luzak and Betancourt took the ball deep into B.U. territory, but Betancourt's attempt at repeat heroics failed when his chip sailed wide.
Sophomore Kenji Hall had Harvard's last scoring opportunity when he dribbled down the sideline and and lifted a shot that was rejected by the right crossbar.
"It was somewhat disappointing to lose after we had a lead," Morris said. "But if you had told us at the beginning of the game that we would have tied the game, we would have been satisfied."
NOTEBOOK: The Crimson will attempt to further assert itself in New England when they travel to Hartford.