The Musketeers dominated from the starting whistle, immediately putting pressure on Harvard. The high pressure paid off, with midfielder Simen Hestnes making a diving header to find the back of the net in the 11th minute.
Ten minutes later, Hestnes and Xavier’s forward Matt Vasquenza struck again, with Vasquenza connecting with his teammate for the second time to extend the Musketeers’ lead to 2-0. The Crimson stepped up its defense for the rest of the half but could not answer with any goals
Harvard regrouped during halftime, and came out stronger in the second half. The team found itself in the attacking third more often but failed to connect passes or capitalize on any opportunities.
Towards the last half-hour, the hosts started to tire. The Musketeers, which had time to get into game shape in their previous two games, took advantage. Forward Samson Sergi buried a ball from 15 yards out to make the score 3-0.
Despite struggles with finding a flow, players performed on an individual level. Parks made six saves for the Crimson, and freshman Paolo Belloni-Urso led the offense with four shots. Co-captain and defender Eric Gylling tallied the other three of Harvard’s total seven shots.
“It felt like we were a bunch of individuals out there today,” co-captain and defender Justin Crichlow said. “It felt like we weren’t playing as a team completely, but it is our first game. It’s really just a learning experience.”
—Staff writer Katherine H. Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.