Harvard improves to 6-3 in 2014 with the victory over Yale on Saturday. (Photo: Penny Ashford)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's soccer team extended its winning streak to six games on Saturday with a grueling 1-0 win over Yale at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium. The six consecutive wins mark the longest such streak since the 2009 season.
It was junior co-captain Mark Ashby's one-touch goal in the 66th minute that put Harvard on top of Yale for good in an even Ancient Eight battle. The Crimson displayed its strengths on both ends of the pitch in the win, reeling off 14 shots, while holding Yale to just four (one on target). Evan Mendez only needed to make that one save to preserve the victory between the posts. The Crimson spread things around as nine separate players got a shot off, with five taking two shots apiece.
Things started fast and strong for both sides, but Harvard made every attempt for an early score. Tim Schmoll nearly connected on a tall header in the 12th minute but Blake Brown made a nice effort to prevent the score. Christian Sady tested Brown shortly after, but to no avail. Later on in the first, Sam Brown attempted to send a cross off a set piece free kick, but Brown came out to stop the long ball from entering the back of the net. Oliver White had two great chances as well as time wore down in the first, sending both of his shots out wide.
The Crimson kept peppering Brown early in the second, but Yale attempted to retaliate with strong play at midfield. Then, though, Harvard made its move. Hiroki Kobayashi had his shot blocked, but recovered it out wide at the near post. From there, Kobayashi found Sady, who then made a nifty move to send the ball to where Ashby could anticipate and knock in the tail end of a quick tic-tac-toe play to give Harvard its 1-0 lead.
Both teams dueled to the end, but Harvard came out victorious with exceptional play from the backs and pressure in the middle. After the win, the Crimson will enjoy a week off until Cornell makes the trip to Soldiers Field on Saturday.