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After scoring only two goals in its previous two games, the Harvard women's soccer team (4-1-1) was searching for an offensive boost against Boston College (3-2-1) yesterday.
However, in two hours of regular and overtime play, it could only muster one goal. In the end, the scoreboard revealed the disappointing result: a 1-1 tie.
The Crimson's streak of consecutive shutouts (1-0 over both Columbia and Colorado last weekend) came to an abrupt close 34 seconds into the game when a Boston College player headed the ball into the back of the net.
"We put ourselves behind early; we came out a little flat," said coach Tim Wheaton. "We regrouped, and I am proud of the effort and heart that the team showed in the second half. We were hungry, and we can't say that about all our games."
Following the immediate goal scored by the Eagles, the Crimson controlled the ball for the remainder of the first half.
Furthermore, after half time, they emerged as a team driven, and this determination led to a break-through in the 53rd minute. Senior forward Lindsay Minkus capitalized on a bobble by Eagles' goalkeeper Courtney Schaeffer and stroked the ball into the back corner of the net.
The Crimson hoped the tide had finally turned.
"Once we score, the floodgates open," said junior goalkeeper Jennifer Burney.
From that point on, the ball was controlled entirely by the Crimson offense.
Unfortunately, Harvard's season long dry streak continued as no more goals were scored.
The crossbars were hit several times, but the ball could not find its way back into the goal.
Harvard's last scoring chance came on a set kick right outside the penalty box with four minutes remaining in regular time, but shortly after the miss, the game headed to overtime.
The recurring theme of numerous chances but few finishes continued through the two overtime periods. Despite playing with a lot of heart, the team just couldn't get that needed second goal.
"You've got to put the ball in the net," Wheaton said. "We had our chances. If you can't score, you can't win. Three of the best frontrunners had one-on-ones with the keeper. Sometimes we were not aggressive enough; sometimes we were unlucky."
The players definitely did not feel Lady Luck's presence with them on the field yesterday.
"The ball just wouldn't go in," said junior forward Naomi miller.
This is not a new predicament for the women's team; in the past three games, they have averaged 30 shots and scored only three goals.
"We've been creating scoring opportunities and not completing," Burney said.
The Crimson's busy schedule-five games in 10 days-may have been a factor.
"We have had an outrageous stream of games in the past ten days," Burney said.
In contrast, B.C. had a week to relax and prepare for the game.
Now Harvard must put this tough loss safely behind it and concentrate on preparing for a big game against Yale Saturday in New Haven.
After a much-deserved day off tomorrow, the team plans to keep working on its confidence and come back hard and ready to play.
"Our focus is always on the Ivy League," Wheaton said.
With a positive attitude, Harvard feels ready to conquer Yale. Hopefully the flood gates will open this weekend, and the team will finally squelch this scoring drought.
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