WASHINGTON – The Harvard men's soccer team tested George Washington on Sunday afternoon at GW Soccer Field, but it was the Colonials (2-1-0) who used a late goal to escape with the narrow 2-1 win over the Crimson (0-2-0).
"The guys created a lot of great chances and worked extremely hard today," said Pieter Lehrer, the Virginia B. and James O. Welch, Jr. '52 Head Coach for Harvard Men's Soccer. "We all feel very confident that we can turn those chances into goals."
Harvard came out firing on Sunday, peppering GWU's JP van der Merwe with five shots on goal within the first 20 minutes, but the Colonial keeper kept things evened at 0-0 with timely saves. Through the game's first 45 minutes, Harvard held an 11-2 shot advantage and a 9-1 corner advantage.
Just five minutes into the second half, Henderson broke the silence. Daniel Smith deflected down a throw-in, where Henderson picked up the loose change and sent one in from the top of the box to give the Crimson the 1-0 lead.
Matt Sheeleigh nearly gave Harvard a 2-0 lead with a pair of chances just minutes later, but George Washington eventually evened things up at 1-1 with a penalty kick at the 58:22 mark. Mendez broke left, but Jonny Forrest sent his free chance right for the score.
Both teams stepped up the physicality in the second as well. The two clubs combined for 21 fouls in the second half down the stretch, until GWU took its final lead. Forrest fended off the Crimson defense in the left corner of the box and was able to just eek one by Mendez for his second goal of the day.
Sheeleigh nearly connected on a header with under four minutes to go, but van der Merwe was there for his 10th save of the day to keep the Crimson at bay. After the trip to the nation's capital, Harvard looks to get back into the winning column next weekend with a trip to St. John's at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 13.