Hawks beat Harvard in OT

September 20, 2013

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Senior David Bernhardsson connected with junior Rohan Roye for his second goal of the year to propel the University of Hartford men’s soccer team to a 3-2, overtime win over the visiting Harvard Crimson at Al-Marzook Field at Alumni Stadium. Improving to 5-0-2, the Hawks remain unbeaten in 2013, while the Crimson drop to 0-4-1 on the season.

Picking up his second and third points of the evening, Bernhardsson ended the match in the 98th minute, heading home the game-winning goal from the top of the six-yard box. Roye provided a long cross from the right side that allowed Bernhardsson to tally Hartford’s first three-point outing of the season.

Controlling the play for the majority of the match and holding on to a comfortable, 2-0 advantage through 52 minutes thanks to goals by Anthony Santaga and Anthony Lobello, the Hawks lost sight for short span, a stretch that the Crimson took advantage of.

Two quick Harvard goals less than four minutes apart tied up the match at two-all with less than 10 minutes to go in regulation. On a reset, Andrew Chang scored from inside of the six-yard box to put the Crimson on the board in the 77th minute while Alex Leondis kept the visiting team’s rally going, netting his first goal of the season at the 80:23 mark off a corner kick. Ross Friedman received credit for both of his team’s assists.  

Chang’s score ended a 535-minute flawless streak for Hartford keeper David MacKinnon. Prior to Friday’s outing, the rookie had not allowed a single goal since entering the lineup for the first time in his college career at halftime against Villanova, recording four clean sheets during that span.

Offense was not sparse for the Hawks in the closing minutes as Bernhardsson would get a look at scoring the go-ahead goal with 81 ticks remaining on the clock, but his attempt went just wide of the far post. One minute later, Aleko Petridis, who provided the heroics in Hartford’s most recent overtime win at Marist, blasted a shot, missing high.

That sent the match into overtime, marking the third-straight outing that the Hawks have faced extra time.

The Hawks provided the pressure on Harvard’s defense early and often, forcing Harvard keeper Brett Conrad into action several times in the opening minutes. In the 13th minute, back-to-back shots by Santaga and Aleko Petridis came close to reaching the scoreboard, but Conrad stopped both balls.

Five minutes later, Santaga had another look at the net, and this time, he capitalized to provide Hartford with the early 1-0 advantage. The play started deep in Hartford’s zone as Bernhardsson booted a long ball downfield, finding Santaga who was streaking down the left side in the 18th minute. After dodging a defender, Santaga lofted a high shot that was nicked by Conrad but found its way over the goal line for his first marker of the year.

In the closing minutes before the break, the Crimson’s Andrew Wheeler pushed the first shot past Hartford’s back line. A bullet from over 20 yards out, MacKinnon got up in the air to make the stop in the 44th minute, keeping the Crimson off the scoreboard at halftime.

Just out of the break, the Hawks picked up right where they left off, wasting little time to double their lead to 2-0 in the 53rd minute. LoBello took the credit on that marker, the first of his career, after tracking down a rebound on a Damion Lowe bullet. Corralling Lowe’s shot that bounced off Conrad, Lobello fired a low shot on goal from well beyond the penalty box to make it a 2-0 contest.

Hartford outshot its opponents, 16-11, and held a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks. MacKinnon recorded a pair of saves on the evening while his counterpart, Conrad, made four stops between the pipes.

The Hawks will not need to go far for their next match as they are scheduled to play at instate foe Quinnipiac on Tuesday, September 24. Kickoff from Hamden, Conn., is set for 4 p.m.


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