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Harvard men’s soccer (1-3-4, 0-0-1) went (1-1-2) in their last four games, including a 0-1-1 record against ranked opponents. In this span, senior Willem Ebbinge moved to second all-time at Harvard in career assists, and he now leads the team with seven points. Junior Alessandro Arlotti is close behind with five points, and junior Jan Rieke has played every minute on the season so far for the Crimson.
Harvard vs. No. 18 New Hampshire, 0-1
A quick goal by the Wildcats in the ninth minute put nationally-ranked New Hampshire up early, where they stayed for the remainder of the game, despite a standout performance from sophomore goalkeeper Lucian Wood, who made six saves.
Harvard had early chances against the Wildcats, with both Ebbinge and Arlotti forcing New Hampshire graduate student goalkeeper Joseba Incera to make diving saves. However, the Wildcats struck soon after, with a long shot from graduate student Atila Ashrafi deflecting off the post in the direction of graduate student Eli Goldman, who was able to place it past Wood.
Wood made multiple saves on the night, including three in the first half, to keep the game close for the Crimson. It allowed for several scoring opportunities, including two shots on goal from senior Kaoru Fujiwara. However, Harvard was kept off the board for the rest of the night and the Wildcats came away with the win.
Harvard vs. Cornell, 1-1
Arlotti tallied his first goal of the season as the Crimson tied Ivy League rival Cornell in its league home opener on Jordan Field.
Ebbinge, coming back from his time with the New Zealand national team, has been nothing but stellar for Harvard so far this season, and quickly made an impact in the fifth minute against the Big Red. A long ball into the box from the left side of the field found Arlotti, who quickly headed it into the back of the net to put the Crimson up one.
But Cornell was not to be kept off the board for long. Just six minutes later, Big Red senior Matthew Goncalves was able to beat Wood and even the score. Both teams pressed hard throughout the rest of the game, but Wood was able to make several saves, including three in the second half, to keep the game even at 1-1.
Harvard vs. Fairfield, 4-2
The Crimson earned their first win of the season against the Fairfield Stags on Sept. 19th. First-year Dylan Tellado scored the first two goals of his career, earning his first career brace, and was supported by goals from Arlotti, as well as senior Ale Gutierrez.
Ebbinge and Arlotti once again had big games for Harvard. Ebbinge’s four assists on the night brought him to second all-time at Harvard for career assists, as well as tying the school’s single-game assist record. Arlotti also tied his single-game assist record with three on the night.
Gutierrez opened the scoring in the 28th minute off of a play from Arlotti and Ebbinge. Just two minutes later, Bjarnson was able to increase the Crimson’s lead off of another assist from Ebbinge and Arlotti. Harvard was able to finish out its three goals in an eight-minute period with Tellado’s first of the night and ended the half with a commanding lead.
The Stags were undaunted and stormed back early in the second off of a shot from sophomore William Pierce in the 49th. Just a few minutes later in the 65th, Pierce struck again, this time with a penalty kick to cut the Crimson’s lead to one. However, Tellado answered one minute later with his second goal of the game, increasing Harvard’s lead to two, where it stayed for the rest of the match.
Harvard vs. No. 12 Vermont, 1-1
It was a game of penalty kicks for Harvard and the nationally-ranked University of Vermont. First-year goalkeeper Nick Willen made his first career start for the Crimson and was tested early, when junior Yaniv Bazini netted a penalty kick for the Catamounts to put Vermont up 1-0. Harvard played from behind until the 78th minute, when Arlotti drew a penalty kick and Ebbinge was able to put it away.
Harvard generated few opportunities through the first half, with Arlotti earning a chance at the net off of a play by Ebbinge, who was making his first start of the season back with the Crimson after helping New Zealand qualify for the Olympics. Although Vermont played well through the first, Harvard held advantages on shots (14-11) and shots on goal (7-2), mostly due to their strong second half.
Arlotti had another chance at the goal in the 57th minute, which was later followed by an Ebbinge free kick which forced Vermont’s senior goalkeeper Owen Jack to make a save. Senior Nik White almost tied it up for the Crimson in the 65th, as well as sophomore Marcos Ojea Quintana in the 77th. Finally, Arlotti was able to draw a foul just inside the box to set up a successful penalty kick from Ebbinge.
Although both the Harvard and the Catamounts had late chances to win the game, both goalkeepers were able to make the saves and end the game tied 1-1.
The Crimson will take on their second Ivy League rival of the season when they travel to Columbia on Saturday, Sept. 30th, at 1:00PM EST.
— Staff writer Maddie B. Barkate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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