Photo courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The ninth-ranked Harvard men's soccer team clinched the 2009 Ivy League regular-season title with a 1-0 victory over Penn Sunday afternoon at Ohiri Field. The Crimson earns the Ivy League's automatic berth to the NCAA tournament with the win.
In a scoreless first half of play, Harvard held the advantage in shots, 5-1, and earned all seven corners in the first 45 minutes. Senior Adam Rousmaniere had the Crimson's best chance to score, as he blasted a shot from the right side of the 18-yard box but his effort was pushed high by Penn's rookie keeper, Garon Smith.
With the game on the line, Harvard sophomore goalkeeper Austin Harms made a huge save on a point blank header in the 57th minute. The Crimson broke through in the 68th minute when freshman Richard Smith netted his first collegiate goal. Smith tipped in a cross from sophomore Tim Linden.
Harvard held the advantage in shots for the game, firing 16 shots while the Quakers took 11. The Crimson earned 10 of the 11 corner kicks awarded in the contest. Harms made two saves in net for the home team while Penn's Smith stopped four shots.
The Crimson wrapped up the regular-season atop the Ivy League standings with a 5-1-1 record in the conference and a 13-3-1 overall mark. The Quakers dropped to 6-8-3 overall and 2-4-1 in the Ancient Eight.
Harvard will now await the NCAA tournament selection show to be aired on ESPNews Monday at 5:30 p.m.