CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's soccer team downed Columbia on Saturday night at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium, turning in a physical and tactical 1-0 victory for its six seniors on Senior Day.
With the win, Harvard moves to 10-4-2 (3-1-2 Ivy), including a 9-0 record at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium, the first time a Harvard team has gone undefeated at home since 2008, and the first time since 1996 a Crimson squad went a perfect 9-0.
The shots were just about even from both sides, with Columbia holding a 15-11 advantage, but the Lions had an 8-0 advantage with shots on target. Crimson keeper Evan Mendez earned his third clean sheet behind a stout defensive effort as well as making a season-high seven saves in the victory.
The two squads traded heavy possession time throughout the first half, with Harvard applying most of the pressure. But it was Mendez who came up big with four crucial saves to keep things even at 1-1.
More of the same continued in the second with both sides nearly capitalizing as time wore on. A crucial turn of events occured as a Columbia handball in the box at the 83rd minute proved to be the difference as the Crimson was awarded a penalty kick. Junior Tim Schmoll faked the Lion's goalkeeper and buried the ball to the lower left hand corner to vault Harvard into the driver seat. From there, the Crimson was able to keep things settled and eventually took its 1-0.
Harvard returns to the field next weekend for its final regular season game at Ivy League foe Penn.