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Harvard Escapes with Win After Last-Minute Penalty

By Oluwatoni A. Campbell, Crimson Staff Writer

UMass made the Harvard men’s soccer team work hard for the victory, but in the end the Crimson escaped with a win after a game-winning penalty kick in overtime by co-captain Scott Prozeller, 1-0. With the win on Friday evening, the Crimson (2-2) improves its record to .500 for the season.

Playing under the lights for the second time this season at the Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium, Harvard began the game by dictating the pace of play and pressing deep into Minutemen territory.  By the 18th minute of play, the Crimson had mustered three shots on goal and two corner kicks, and looked poised to score at any moment.

At 22:36, with freshman Michael Innocenzi driving towards the goal, UMass conceded a penalty to the Crimson after Innocenzi was tripped up by a Minutemen defender just inside the penalty area. When junior Brian Rogers stepping up to take his first penalty of the season, Harvard seemed assured of its first goal. But Rogers shockingly pulled the ball wide to the right, keeping the game scoreless.

But despite the penalty miss, Harvard showed no signs of letting up offensively. At the end of the first half, the Crimson continually challenged the UMass backline and outshot UMass, 6-0.

Throughout the second half, the Crimson continued to look confident and threatened UMass on a regular basis but getting a shot by the goalkeeper proved to be a difficult task. With the match still scoreless after regulation play, the game moved into overtime.

Two minutes into overtime with the Minutemen pressing into the Harvard penalty box, senior goalkeeper Austin Harms made a crucial save off a header to deny UMass what could have been a game-winning goal.

Less than five minutes later, the Crimson would have a game-winning scoring chance of its own after Michael Innocenzi was once again cut down inside the box, giving the home-side a chance to score.

Stepping up to the penalty spot this time was Scott Prozeller, who confidently buried the ball into the top-left corner of the net, giving Harvard the golden-goal victory.

The Crimson continues its two-game weekend on Sunday on the road against Vermont.

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Sports BriefsMen's Soccer