(photo credit Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Nico Garcia-Morillo scored his first career goal and added an assist on classmate Alfred Perez's goal in Harvard's 4-2 loss to No. 24 Cornell this afternoon at Jordan Field. The men's soccer program moves to 3-7 on the season and 1-1 in Ivy League play while the Big Red improves to 8-2 overall with a 2-0 Ivy League record.
Garcia-Morillo paced the offense with three points in the contest while Alfred Perez tallied his team-leading third goal of the year on three shots. Matt Freese made eight saves in goal, a career high.
Cornell opened scoring early, in the 10th minute when Charles Touche knocked in a header off a free kick 25 yards out. As the first half began wrapping up, Nico Garcia-Morillo made a statement, recording his first career goal and tying the game when he picked up a loose ball on the 18 and beat the Cornell keeper right-side.
Both teams maintained intensity and grit in the second half. Cornell's Touche took back the Big Red lead in the 48th minute when he fired a shot from just outside the six-yard box. The scoreboard went unchanged for almost 25 minutes before Touche broke through again, punching in a rebound after an incredible save from Freese that bounced off the crossbar but remained in play. Down 3-1, the Crimson continued to pressure on offense, picking up the pace in the final minutes. In the 83rd minute, Garcia-Morillo sent a cross to Alfred Perez right out in front where he was able to cut the Big Red's lead to one. In the 84th minute, Cornell capitalized on a penalty kick opportunity to seal the final score at 4-2.
- Nico Garcia-Morillo scored his first career goal.
- Sophomore Matt Freese made a career-high eight saves in net.
- Alfred Perez recorded three shots.
- Harvard was outshot 16-6.
- The two teams combined for 54 total fouls.
Harvard will embark on a five-game road swing beginning next Tuesday, Oct. 9 at Boston College. Game time is set for 7 p.m.