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It's about time. Things are finally beginning to look right.
For the first three weeks of the Harvard women's soccer team's season, things hadn't been going as planned.
What had been a high powered offense was floundering and could not seem to capitalize on numerous opportunities.
The Crimson's 22-game Ivy League unbeaten streak came to an end in a 3-2 double-overtime loss to the Yale last week. The loss left Harvard with a 4-2-1 record and a 1-1 Ivy mark.
And then, Harvard decided to go away for the weekend.
A tie against then No. 11 George Mason and a win over No. 14 Maryland during last weekend's trip to Virginia may have put the Crimson back on track.
And just at the right time.
Tomorrow the Crimson hits the road again to Storrs, Conn., for a matchup with nemesis UConn. This will be Harvard's third straight test against a nationally ranked opponent--the Huskies were ranked as high as No. 9 in some polls.
To score another upset, Harvard needs to build on the momentum and confidence developed over the weekend.
"This weekend was huge," said junior defender Jaime Chu. "It gave us the concrete results that we are a great team. The confidence boost is big."
Harvard's offense turned things around somewhat, especially in the 3-1 defeat of Maryland. The sudden scoring prowess is attributable to a change of attitude.
"We picked things up this weekend," Chu said. "We were hungry for goals and never gave up. We were pushing, pushing, pushing, just waiting to score a goal. Even when we were up 2-1 on Maryland we kept going for the goal, and we put another home."
Against UConn, Harvard has always played well and the games have been competitive, but the scoreboard hasn't been with the Crimson.
However, the big game pressure and attitude that was required over the weekend should be fresh in Harvard's mind.
"The difference this weekend was motivation and emotion," Chu said. "We knew that every game was big and that anything less than a great game was going to be a loss for us. It was about mental readiness."
A win over the Huskies will require that same readiness. UConn is returning many of its good players from last year's squad that defeated Harvard.
"We need to take the momentum from the weekend and use it," Chu said. "We need to be really emotional and tenacious, keep hitting their defense. We have the confidence that we'll do it. If we play like we did this weekend, we'll be in good shape."
And with another win against a top ranked opponent, this season will look a little bit more like everyone expected.
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