Photo of Andre Akpan courtesy DSPics.com.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Andre Akpan, Harvard’s all-time leading scorer, became the first Crimson player to reach the century mark in points as he tallied two goals and handed out an assist to guide the Harvard men’s soccer team to a 4-1 victory over Stony Brook in its season opener Friday afternoon at Ohiri Field.
Desmond Mitchell and Brian Rogers also tallied goals for Harvard, while Austin Harms made six saves for his first win of the year.
Stony Brook (0-2) struck first as Berian Gobeil buried a shot from 20 yards on out left corner of the box at 27:35. James Palumbo was credited with an assist on the play after chipping the ball through a few Crimson defenders, as the Seawolves went ahead, 1-0.
Less than seven minutes later, a duo of Harvard freshmen helped the Crimson knot the game. Rookie Scott Prozeller played the ball through midfield and split two defenders with a pass ahead to classmate Brian Rogers. Rogers dribbled the ball into the box and booted it into the upper left corner of the goal, tying the score, 1-1, at 34:08.
Moments later, Harvard (1-0) had another quality chance when Akpan and Alex Chi had played quick passes to Rogers, but his shot was blocked by the Stony Brook defense in front of the cage. Heading into the intermission, the teams each had seven shots and earned a corner kick apiece.
Less than five minutes into the second half, Chi was pulled down just in front of the Stony Brook box, creating a free kick opportunity for the Crimson. Akpan took the ensuing free kick and shot the ball to the right of a leaping Anthony Rogic for the Crimson’s second score of the afternoon.
Akpan struck again at 57:01 as he headed a cross pass from Robert Millock into the bottom right portion of the cage. In the process, Akpan surpassed the 100-point mark for his career. At 72:30, Akpan earned his first assist of the year as he moved the ball ahead to Mitchell, who chipped the ball over Rogic and over the goal line for Harvard’s third goal of the half. In the process, the Crimson extended its lead to 4-1. Akpan now has 37 goals and 28 assists for 102 points in a Harvard uniform.
The Crimson edged the Seawolves, 15-14, in shots for the game which featured five yellow cards.
Harvard is next in action Monday afternoon as the team travels to face Boston College in Newton, Mass. The game is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.