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Men’s Soccer Battles Boston University to 0-0 Draw

Brett Conrad notched four saves and combined with Evan Mendez for the shutout (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. –
The Harvard men's soccer team traded blows with nearby foe Boston University for 110 minutes, but neither team was able to find the back of the net in a 0-0 tie Wednesday night at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium. The result is Harvard's (1-4-2) second tie of the season while BU (3-3-1) logs its first draw of the season.

The action started early in the first half for both teams, as both defenses got an early wake up call. Harvard had the first good look of the game with Ross Friedman standing over a free kick just outside the BU box, but the senior's shot curved just over the goal despite beating the wall built by the Terriers. Just a minute later it was BU's turn when Ali Sozeri blasted a shot from 25 yards out, but sophomore keeper Evan Mendez leapt and tipped the probing ball over the crossbar.

The opportunities continued through the midsection of the stanza with both squads sending dangerous crosses into the box but unable to find the finishing touch. A.J. Agha had one final look for the Crimson before the first half whistle, heading a David Barna cross just over the bar with 2:53 showing on the clock. The Terriers ended the first with a 5-1 edge in shots on goal, and also held a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks gained.

The second half saw the better chances go Harvard's way, including a great look for Friedman off a Philip Fleischman cross, but the senior lifted his shot well over the crossbar to keep the score knotted at 0-0. Kevin Harrington got a clean header off a Friedman cross with 25:40 to play, but his effort couldn't make it through a crowd in front of the keeper. With 1:44 to play, Harvard nearly netted the game-winner when sophomore Andrew Chang blasted a low shot from just inside the 18-yard line, but BU goalie Matt Gilbert smothered the shot to push the game to overtime.

The first overtime passed without incident but a rowdy Harvard sideline powered the Crimson to a strong start to the second extra period. Harrington fed a ball into the mixer that Mark Ashby got a head on, but the sophomore's effort sailed just over the crossbar. The final look for Harvard came with less than a minute to go when Tyler Evans took a hard shot from the top of the box that was blocked before it could reach the goal.

Mendez recorded four saves in the first half while second-half sub Brett Conrad also had four between the second half and two overtime periods. Matt Gilbert needed just two saves to record the clean sheet for the Terriers.

Harvard wraps up its three-game homestand Sunday when it hosts St. Francis in a 3 p.m., game. Sunday's contest will take place at Ohiri Field.