Photo of Adam Rousmaniere courtesy of DSPics.com.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A trio of Harvard
players found the back of the net and Austin Harms made six saves
for his fourth victory of the season, as the Crimson men’s
soccer team defeated Army, 4-0, Sunday afternoon at Ohiri Field.
Andre Akpan netted two goals, while Desmond Mitchell and Brian
Rogers chipped in with a goal apiece. With the victory, Harvard
improves to 4-0 on the season, while Army drops to 1-4.
Following the opening whistle, Harvard’s offense went to work, as Brian Grimm dribbled the ball at midfield and made a quick pass to his left, finding Mitchell. The Crimson midfielder accepted the pass and ran with the ball down the left sideline, evading two Army defenders. As he approached the box, Mitchell fired a shot with his right foot that bounced once and into the right side of the goal, putting Harvard ahead, 1-0, only 30 seconds into the contest. Grimm earned an assist for setting up Mitchell’s second goal of the season.
Harvard outshot Army, 16-7, in the opening half, including seven that reached the goal. The Crimson also earned 7 corner kicks, compared to two by the Black Knights. Akpan, who finished the contest with nine shots, had six alone in the first half of action.
“We were able to get an early goal, but then the game slowed down,” said Jamie Clark, the Virginia B. and James O. Welch ’52 Head Coach for Harvard Men’s Soccer. “We gained the momentum once again in the second half and were able to capitalize on our chances. “It’s always a positive to get a win after the tough match we had on Friday.”
In the second half of action, Harvard earned a corner kick at 50:53, setting up a header by Mitchell that flew high of the net. Moments later, Akpan stole possession of the ball 10 yards out and belted a shot that deflected off Army goalkeeper Nick Alexander and into the cage, making it a 2-0 contest at 51:46.
The Crimson increased its lead to 3-0 in the 62nd minute when Rogers tallied his second goal of the season on a shot near the left post. Adam Rousmaniere had a shot blocked from the right side, and then grabbed the rebound and bounced a pass to his left, finding Mitchell. Mitchell quickly made another pass, directly to Rogers who one-timed the ball into the net at 62:03.
With 16:26 remaining in the contest, Akpan beat Alexander for his second goal of the game to cap the scoring. Rogers was credited with an assist, as he fed Akpan, who was standing 20 yards out from the cage, with a pass. Akpan fired with his right foot and the ball deflected off an Army defenseman and into the cage. With his two-goal effort Sunday, Akpan now paces the Crimson with four goals and 11 points this fall.
Harvard owned a 19-7 advantage in shots in the second half, finishing with a 35-14 lead for the game. Alexander made 11 saves for Army, as the Crimson fired 15 shots on goal. The Crimson also controlled corner kicks, 10-3.
Up next, Harvard hits the road for four games, beginning with a non-conference game at Fairfield Saturday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.