Cambridge, Massachusetts---With a plethora of scoring chances from both teams, the St. Francis Brooklyn men’s soccer team secured a 1-0 victory over the Harvard University Crimson on Sunday afternoon from Ohiri Field.
For the Terriers, they extend their unbeaten to five straight games and improve to 5-2-1 on the season. Harvard faltered to 1-5-2 in their final non-conference match of the season.
“Today’s game was great team effort,” commented head coach Tom Giovatto. “It was good to see so many guys contribute.”
The visitors were able to redirect a Harvard scoring chance just two minutes into the game when the Crimson’s Andrew Chang lofted a ball into the box, but Mark Ashby’s header attempt went wide of the net.
In a span of a minute, the Terriers were able to fire two shot attempts. The first, by junior forward Michael Collis, was headed towards the lower-left corner of the net and corralled by Harvard’s Brett Conrad. The second attempt came off the foot of sophomore midfielder Harry Odell, who booted the ball just high over the net.
St. Francis Brooklyn was able to best Conrad just moments later, in the 10th minute. Senior midfielder John Johansson drove a corner kick into the box and fellow classmate Riccardo Milano headed the feed home for a 1-0 lead. For Milano, it was his second career goal and for Johansson it is his third assist of the season, tied for the team lead. The Kalmar, Sweden native has recorded seven helpers for his career.
“I ran towards the first post,” commented Milano. “JJ (John Johansson) put a perfect ball into the box. I was able to out-jump the Harvard defender and head the ball down. It is always a great feeling to score a goal. Today, our defense played a complete game. It was a tough game, but we were able to execute the game plan and get another shutout.”
In the second half, the Crimson changed up their goalkeeper by inserting Evan Mendez. St. Francis Brooklyn tested him early. A free kick from just outside the box off the foot of junior forward Kevin Correa dipped towards the top of the net, but Mendez was able to deflect it over the crossbar.
Harvard mounted a comeback in the 57th minute when Ashby had another good look in the box for the Crimson, but he couldn’t convert the header off a free kick from teammate Ross Friedman as junior goalkeeper Jack Binks was there to make the save for the Terriers. Three minutes later, the Crimson’s Daniel Smith attempted a diving header that struck the top right corner of the goalpost.
St. Francis Brooklyn had one more scoring chance late when freshman Fabian Suele’s header from the top of the six-yard box was knocked away by Mendez. The Crimson’s final attempt to tie the match came in the 86th minute when Kevin Harrington redirected an Andrew Wheeler feed with his head that just graced the back post.
The Terriers held a 14-12 shots advantage in the game, and also had the edge in corners, 8-6. Binks, who improves to 4-2-1 on the year, posted back-to-back clean sheets as he finished with four saves on the afternoon. Conrad and Mendez combined to make seven saves for Harvard.
St. Francis Brooklyn will have one final road non-conference match, as they travel to Newark, New Jersey to tangle with the NJIT Highlanders on October 5th. Kick-off is scheduled for 4:00 pm.