It's just been that kind of season. As soon as momentum would turn in favor of the Crimson it would slide, ever so precariously, off its end of the field.
Yesterday, Harvard men's soccer (6-6-3 overall) was dealt another heartwrenching blow as the Crimson dropped its final home game to Maine (6-9-1 overall) and with it went all remaining hopes for a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
"After today's game there isn't any chance that we will make the tournament," said senior captain Tom McLaughlin.
This let down comes on the heels of the Crimson's close loss to No. 12 Dart-mouth which tarnished all Ivy title hopes.
"I think it was very hard coming off a game like Dartmouth; we got up so high for the game and the loss was very disappointing," McLaughlin said. "I don't know what it was, I just don't think we came out to play."
Typical of a Crimson loss, they out-shot the Black Bears 13-8 and simply failed to connect for the score.
"We definitely out-shot and out-played Maine," said senior midfielder Ricky Le, "but we just weren't intent on winning."
Such lackluster play is atypical of the Crimson, which has experienced scoring woes throughout the season.
"That's the story of our season," McLaughlin said. "We outplayed Dart-mouth and Penn in the season opener and Central Connecticut who scored to win to overtime. It's tough. You don't get points for possession and style of Play."
The Crimson found itself down by one at the half when Andy Guastaferro scored off an assist on a free kick from the top of the penalty box.
A second demoralizing goal early in the second half crushed Harvard emotionally.
"They scored in the first half, but we were dominating. It seemed like we were going to take over at any moment," McLaughlin said. "But then they scored 27 seconds in to the second half and it was a knockout blow. We were like, 'Are you kidding me?!'"
This home loss was especially devastating because it marked the final home game in the careers of seniors Tom McLaughlin, Ricky Le and Toure McCluskey.
"It didn't hit that this was my last home game until it was done," Le said. "This was one of the worst ways to go out. It sucks, but there's nothing you can do about it. I'm just going to cherish the other soccer moments at Harvard."
The focus for the Crimson now turns to this weekend as it faces bitter foe Brown in Providence, Rhode Island. This rivalry goes back to the freshman year of the class of 1998, when they beat the Bears to win the Ivy Title.
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