W. Soccer: Crimson Picks Up First Win vs. Edgeless Quakers
Despite losing the battles of possession time and shots on goal, Harvard women's soccer managed to continue its dominance over Penn.
The previously winless Crimson (1-6-1, 1-0 Ivy) improved to 12-2-2 all-time versus their Ivy rivals, escaping Rhodes Field with a 2-1 victory yesterday afternoon.
The Quakers, meanwhile, dropped to 4-2-1, 0-1 Ivy, after their second straight loss.
The home team and crowd shook their heads as time expired. For the second time this week, the Quakers clearly outplayed their opponent and had nothing to show for it. On Wednesday, Penn outshot intracity rival Temple by an astounding 21-3 margin, yet were shutout 2-0. Yesterday saw a similar scenario: right ideas, poor executions.
"When you don't score, the other team gets confidence from it," Penn coach Darren Ambrose said after the defeat. "We probably wasted six or seven clear chances to score. The same thing happened at Temple; the same thing happened today."
"We have to finish our chances," freshman Jessica Fuccello echoed. "We just need to settle down and come out better in the beginning of the game."
Last week's Ivy League Rookie of the Week, the forward scored Penn's only goal of the game with less than nine minutes remaining - a header off of an Eileen Larkin free kick.
"The energy picked up a lot, but it was too little too late," Fuccello said.
Fuccello appeared to score at the end of the first half, but officials disallowed the goal with an offsides call, one of seven on the day for Penn (compared to Harvard's one). The disappointing ruling visibly rattled the Quakers.
"We're very young up front," Ambrose said. "They are playing well, but we are lacking composure."
Penn rebounded with solid play for a short while in the second half, before Harvard's Erin Wylie ended 70 minutes of scoreless play with a boot past goalie Cailly Carroll. Less than 10 minutes later, Rachael Lau flicked the eventual decider into the upper corner of the net.
Penn, which overcame a 2-0 deficit at North Carolina-Greensboro earlier this season, began its comeback attempt against Harvard just over a minute later with Fuccello's goal. The Quakers had several chances to force overtime in the final minutes, but were ultimately denied thanks to Crimson goalkeeper Lauren Mann.
"Lauren Mann was the difference in the game today," Ambrose said of Harvard's freshman goalie.
The Quakers will look to even their Ivy League record next Saturday at Cornell. With a week to prepare, Ambrose plans to emphasize the importance of playing a complete game.
"We've been slow starting all year," he said. "We can play 45 minutes, and we've played 45 minutes. But at the end of the day, you need to play for 90 minutes. If you don't play for 90 minutes, you aren't going to win the game."