Richard Smith scored one of two Harvard goals in its win over Holy Cross Tuesday (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The senior class said goodbye to Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium in fine style, as the Harvard men's soccer team picked up two first half goals from its class of 2013 in a 2-0 win over Holy Cross Tuesday night. The win ups Harvard's record to 3-10-3 on the season while Holy Cross dips to 5-10-2.
The start of the game featured back and forth midfield play with neither team pressing too deeply into the opponents' zone. The Crimson soon found its composure and controlled possession, and Jake Freeman had Harvard's best look of the early going, lifting a shot high of the frame at the 27:05 mark from just inside the Crusader penalty area.
With 27:53 gone in the first half, Harvard's pressure paid off as the hosts took a 1-0 advantage. Kyle Henderson surveyed the Holy Cross penalty area from just across midfield towards the near sideline and drove a pass to Brian Rogers who was free in the opposite corner of the penalty area. The senior controlled the pass, deked past a Crusaders defender and curled a ball towards the far corner of the net that lofted over the goalie, banged off the post and went in for his first goal of the season.
The Crimson didn't stop there as the home team doubled its lead less than four minutes later, thanks to another senior player. Harvard earned a corner kick after sustained pressure in the Holy Cross zone and sophomore David Barna struck an in-swinging ball that co-captain Richard Smith headed towards goal. The ball struck the underside of the crossbar and shot downward, landing inside the endline to give the Crimson a commanding two-goal edge. The teams ended the half tied in shots at seven apiece.
The Crimson did well to control the ball through a good part of the second half, keeping the Holy Cross scoring chances to a minimum. Rookie Evan Mendez needed just one save in the second half and three in the game to record his first 90-minute shutout of his collegiate career.
Harvard wraps up its 2012 schedule on the road when it travels to Philadelphia to take on Ivy foe Penn Saturday in a 7 p.m. contest.