Officially, the rules of soccer forbid the use of the hands. Someone forgot to remind the players of this at the Harvard men's soccer team's match against 24th-ranked Boston University last night.
In an exceedingly physical game, the Crimson (1-5-1 overall, 0-1-1 Ivy) was dominated by the Terriers (6-3-1), 3-0, under the lights at BU's Nickerson Field.
BU was charged with 17 fouls, the Crimson with 11. Both teams had a player receive a yellow card. Yet Coach Stephen Locker was still frustrated at the leniency of the officials, at one point shouting angrily onto the field, "Which game are you watching?"
Locker, clearly irritated with the physical play of the Terriers, was seen apparently instructing his players to make better use of their elbows, particularly when going for a head ball.
BU's offense was the story of the game, overwhelming the Harvard defense with 19 shots and seven corner kicks. Harvard could only manage four shots and one corner kick all game.
The teams played a scoreless first half. Harvard's strong defense, led by captain Joe Bradley, managed to hold off the relentless BU attack. Sophomore goalie Ned Carlson (four saves) made a number of fine stops, one of a BU head ball and another on a one-on-one with the Terriers' leading scorer.
Harvard had its chances as well, with strong offensive play from sophomore midfielder Chris Wojcik, freshman forward Will Kohler, and freshman midfielder T.J. Carella. A head ball in front of the Terrier goal by Carella on a pass from Wojcik at 25:00 just barely went over the crossbar.
The second half was a BU romp. Of the Terriers' 19 shots, 14 came in the second half. Their first score came on a fast break on the left side, with a strong cross kick that was booted past Carlson with 26:18 to go. The second and third goals followed in rapid succession, with 3:47 and 2:42 left in the game.
"We had a good effort defensively up to the last couple minutes," said Locker. "The last two goals were very disappointing."
Harvard's offense all but disappeared in the second half, as BU stole the momentum of the game. Robert Forde, the BU keeper, was credited with no saves in the period.
Locker also noted that many BU players were taller than their Harvard counterparts, creating an advantage on loose balls.
"They controlled the air," he said.