Harvard Womens Soccer Draws with LIU, 2-2, in Opener at New Stadium
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The Harvard women's soccer team christened the new Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium with a pair of first-half goals, but Long Island rallied with two in the second half to force a 2-2 tie in the Crimson's 2010 season opener.
Peyton Johnson logged a goal and an assist in her collegiate debut, and Melanie Baskind gave Harvard (0-0-1) a 2-0 lead, but Nikki Labo and Toni Smith brought the Blackbirds (2-1-1) back with two goals in 59 seconds. Alexandra Millet made eight saves for the Crimson in her first career start, as Long Island held a 22-13 shots edge.
Johnson got Harvard going about six minutes into the game and the season. Patricia Yau intercepted an LIU clearance and passed to Johnson on the left side of the box. The rookie sent in a high ball that found its way inside the far post.
The Crimson doubled its lead 10 minutes later. Johnson landed a precise long ball in front of Katherine Sheeleigh in the left corner. Sheeleigh sent a low cross in front that Baskind put away past a diving Jennifer Bannon. Millet made her biggest stop of the half in the 23rd minute, diving to her right to stone Smith, who had been sprung behind the Harvard defense.
The goalies traded big stops early in the second half. Relief keeper Jessica Sexton made a leaping save on a hard shot from Baskind on the right side of the LIU box, and Millet kept a Smith header from crossing the line following a corner. Labo found the net in the 75th minute, heading in a Sarah Laughlin corner kick. Smith evened the score less than a minute later with a shot into the top left corner after a through ball by Kayleigh Morgan.
Caitlin Meadows put a free kick off the cross bar with two minutes left in regulation, and Sheeleigh put Harvard's best late chance just wide in the first overtime. Each team had three shots, two on goal, in the first overtime, and neither put the ball on frame in the second.