White scored the game winner in the Crimson's eighth consecutive victory. (Photo: Penny Ashford)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – On the heels of a three-goal second half, the Harvard men's soccer team continued its winning ways Wednesday night with a thorough 3-0 win over Holy Cross at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium. The Crimson's eighth win in a row – the longest streak since nine games in 2006 – moves the club to 8-3 (2-0 Ivy), while the Crusaders fall to 5-5-2 (2-2 Patriot).
After a scoreless stalemate in the first half, Oliver White opened things up with a goal just two minutes into the second half, followed then by the second goal of the season from Tim Schmoll and Philip Fleischman's first marker of the year to round out the scoring.
Between the pipes, as has been the case for much of the last two weeks, Evan Mendez was tested very little thanks to the stout play of the back line, as the junior keeper saw just one shot on goal, turning aside that shot in the 70th minute. In total, Harvard outshot HC, 14-7 (4-2 on target). Joe Festa saw just north of 11 minutes of action, filling in for Mendez and keeping the sheet clean – Harvard's third consecutive shutout.
The two squads combined for just 10 total shots in a slow-paced first half, with the Crimson holding the 8-2 advantage and much of the possession time in the attacking third. Schmoll had a few chances in the first 15 minutes, but HC's Kevin Wright was equal to the challenge.
White nearly got on the board at the 35 minute mark, but the junior's shot went just wide of the goal as things remained scoreless into the break. White, however, did break through at the 46:53 mark to open the second stanza with a quick goal. Andrew Wheeler-Omiunu sent a 30-yard cross into the box where Matt Sheeleigh was waiting. Seeing White bolting through the box, Sheeleigh sent a quick touch as he was falling and White tapped it just over the reach of Wright for the score.
Up 1-0, the Crimson kept the pressure on high in search for more. Just over 10 minutes later, Wheeler-Omiunu led the charge again in traffic, this time feeding Andrew Chang on the right wing. Outside of the box, Chang sent in a screaming cross to the back post where Schmoll stood tall for the easy header that put Harvard on top, 2-0.
Holy Cross stepped up its game towards the middle-half of the second, competing for shots as time wore on. But Nate Devine quickly turned things back into the Crimson's favor. After receiving a long, bouncing pass up the central alley across midfield, Devine worked his way further into the attacking third in traffic. Devine beat three Crusaders to the top of the 18, sending in a nice ball to Philip Fleischman streaking into the box. Fleischman needed just one touch to find the back of the net, sending in a low drive to the bottom left corner, putting Harvard up its final 3-0.
Up next, the competition ramps up as the Crimson face two tough Ivy opponents on the road in Brown and Princeton, before hosting Stony Brook to close out the month of October.