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Comeback Bid Falls Short for Harvard at Hofstra

Photo of Melanie Baskind courtesy DSPics.com.

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – The Harvard women’s soccer team scored two goals in the final 10 minutes of play, but could not find the equalizer and fell to Hofstra, 3-2, Sunday afternoon at Hofstra Soccer Stadium. Caroline Albanese, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Week, and Lizzy Nichols supplied the Crimson offense with a goal apiece, while Lauren Mann made four saves between the pipes.

The teams played to a 0-0 tie after the first 45 minutes of play, as Harvard (1-3-1) outshot Hofstra, 6-2, in the first half. The Pride managed the first shot of the game, a chance from Diane Caldwell that sailed high at 17:46, but the Crimson controlled much of play in the latter stages of the opening half. In the 30th minute, Katherine Sheeleigh fired her first of six shots on the day on goal, but Krysten Farriella made her first of four saves on the chance. Later on, Aisha Price blasted back-to-back shots at Farriella in the 42nd minute, but both attempts were snared by the goalkeeper, keeping Harvard off the scoreboard.

Salma Tarik broke the scoreless tie with a boot off a low cross pass from Laura Greene at 49:08. Tarik one-timed the pass from five yards out and past Mann, making it 1-0 in favor of the Pride. Hofstra doubled its lead at the 61:30 mark when Tarik played a diagonal pass to Danielle Murino near the right side of the box. Murino evaded a Harvard defender and ripped a shot just inside the right post.

At 63:31, Harvard gained possession after Hofstra was called for a foul and Sheeleigh fired another shot on goal, but Farriella turned it aside. Moments later, Mann stopped two shots by Greene and another by Murino to keep Harvard in the game. With 9:49 remaining on the clock, Albanese cut Harvard’s deficit in half, as she sent a volley from 10 yards out into the left side of the net. Nichols earned an assist as she played a cross pass directly to Albanese.

The Pride struck again at 81:14, this time on a penalty kick goal by Diane Caldwell. Tarik was taken down at the top of the penalty area and Caldwell capitalized on the ensuing kick to put Hofstra ahead, 3-1. The Crimson, however, responded immediately, as Nichols scored Harvard’s second goal only 58 seconds later. Hofstra (3-3) attempted to clear a corner kick, but the ball went directly to Nichols at the top of the box. She nailed a one-timer that hit Caldwell’s head and under the cross bard to pull Harvard within one goal, 3-2, with 7:48 to play.

With the clock winding down, Alexandra Conigliaro kicked a line drive towards the net, but a Hofstra’s Jess Crankshaw headed the ball away, allowing the defense to clear.

The Crimson trailed in shots for the second half, 8-7, but led for the game, 13-10. The Pride owned a 7-5 advantage in corner kicks, but Harvard had three of four in the second half.

The Crimson will travel to Newton, Mass., to face No. 10 Boston College Friday, Sept. 18. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Harvard will then face Boston University in a road game that will be broadcast nationally on Fox Soccer Channel. The Crimson and Terriers will meet Sunday, Sept. 20 at 5 p.m.