Andrew Chang scored Harvard's first goal against Hartford Friday (Gil Talbot).
HARTFORD, Conn. – A gutsy second-half comeback saw the game go to overtime, but the host team had the last laugh as the Harvard men's soccer team dropped a 3-2, overtime, decision to Hartford Friday night at Alumni Stadium. The Hawks (5-0-2) remain undefeated on the season while Harvard (0-4-1) looks for its first victory Sunday against Massachusetts.
Staring a 2-0 deficit in the face with eight minutes gone in the second half, the Crimson offense began to take shape. After managing just one shot on net in the first half, the Crimson logged a pair of shots in the opening minutes of the second, leading up to its first goal of the game. Harvard gained possession thanks to a Hartford foul, as Ross Friedman worked the ball deep into the Hartford zone. The senior threaded a cross through the middle that found sophomore Andrew Chang at the top-left corner of the six-yard box, and Chang banged the ball home to cut the deficit to 2-1 in the 77th minute.
The game-tying goal came soon after as it was Friedman, once again, lending a helping hand. Harvard gained its fourth corner kick of the match, and first of the second half, in the 81st minute and Friedman lofted a ball just to the top of the six-yard box where rookie Alex Leondis bested Hartford keeper David MacKinnon to knot the game at 2-2. Both teams had a pair of shots sail wide in the final nine minutes and the game headed to overtime in a 2-2 draw.
Freshman Ashi Geberkidane had the first shot for either team in the overtime, but his attempt sailed wide of the goal. The teams traded fouls five minutes into the frame, but the hosts gained footing in the Harvard zone and ended the game 7:54 in, when Rohan Roye lifted a ball into the box that David Bernhardsson headed past Brett Conrad for the game-winning strike.
Hartford's Anthony Santaga started the scoring in the 18th minute, powering a shot from 15 yards out that beat Conrad to the lower right corner of the net. While the halftime score was 1-0 in favor of the Hawks, they quickly doubled their lead in the 53rd minute when Anthony LoBello put home a Damion Lowe rebound from outside the box.
Conrad finished the day with four saves for the Crimson while MacKinnon registered two stops in the win. The game marked Harvard's first multi-goal game of the season.
Harvard returns home for its next matchup, as it hosts Massachusetts Sunday at noon at Ohiri Field.