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It was the last home game ever for the seniors. It was Yale. They were up for it.
The Harvard women's soccer team came out ready to play yesterday afternoon at Ohiri field.
So did Mother Nature.
So did Yale.
Yale (8-5-0 overall, 5-1-0 Ivy) got the best of the Crimson (5-6-1, 2-2-0), taking the game, 1-0, in extremely wet conditions.
"It was frustrating because we were really psyched," Co-Captain Beth Reilly said. "We played at a frantic pace at the beginning and we were just hitting the ball too hard."
Harvard dominated the opening minutes of the contest, keeping Yale's goaltender and defense on their toes. But after the initial Crimson rush, the Elis contained and outplayed the squad.
"They outplayed us, plain and simple," Harvard Coach Tim Wheaton said. "They got the momentum going and we didn't do anything to get it back."
Yale took the lead, and control of the game, midway through the opening period.
A well-placed Eli corner kick created two Yale shots from in close. Reilly was able to deflect the first with a diving save, but the Crimson failed to clear the rebound. Freshman forward Dawn Bushnaq knocked the ball in for the visitors, netting the lone goal of the wet afternoon.
"We got caught on our heels," Reilly said. "It should have been cleared in the air. Erin [Matias] and I both cleared it, and it is unfortunate that it landed on a Yale, not a Harvard, foot."
The second half featured mostly midfield play. Neither Harvard nor Yale was able to mount any particularly threatening offensive runs.
Nevertheless, Harvard did not let up. The Crimson pressured the Elis until the final buzzer, pushing the ball upfield whenever possible.
"There was a lot of intensity out there," senior Tory Fair said. "I don't feel like my head is hanging, though you always feel you can do more when you lose, 1-0."
"Harvard came out tough in the second half," Yale Coach Felice Duffy said. "We were just able to keep control of the game."
There were some bright spots, despite the score and the weather, for the Crimson.
Unlike the conditions, the play was not all that sloppy. Harvard got outstanding play from its defense, containing the Eli offense and getting the ball up to the midfield.
Anchored by Reilly, who made some difficult saves and distributed the ball well, the backfield of Matias, junior Amy Weinstein, and seniors Tara Weinstock and Fair shut down the Yale offense.
"The defense played extremely well," senior Ann Kletz said. "Yale is a strong team."
"I guess we'll just have to feed Scotch more," Fair said of the team's mascot.
Elis, 1-0 at Ohiri Field Yale 1-0--1 HARVARD 0-0--0
Goals:Y, Dawn Bushnaq (Jen Teti) 25:04.
Saves:H, Beth Reilly 8; Y, Tina Pihl 10.
Corner Kicks:Yale 3; Harvard 5.
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