Jake Freeman had two shots against UCSB Sunday (Gil Talbot).
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Facing its highest-ranked opponent of the season, the Harvard men's soccer team stayed in the game for 90 minutes, but an early goal proved to be too much to overcome as the Crimson dropped a 1-0 decision to No. 3 UC Santa Barbara Sunday afternoon. Harvard falls to 1-5-1 on the year while the Gauchos remain undefeated at 6-0-2 on the season.
Harvard endured a trio of shots early with rookie goalie Joe Festa making his first save on USCB's third shot of the contest. The Gauchos' goal came early, however, as Javier Castro penetrated deep into Harvard territory and headed home a cross from inside the six-yard box just 13:32 into the game. The Gauchos did well to shut down the Crimson attack through the first half as the guests were held without a shot or a corner kick through the opening 45 minutes.
The Crimson found a bit more of a rhythm in the second half and saw its best scoring opportunity in the 63rd minute when Jake Freeman put a shot on net, forcing UCSB goalie Austin Mansker to make the save. Harvard also had a 5-1 edge in corner kicks in the final 45 minutes, but could not find the combination for the equalizer as the Gauchos sealed the 1-0 victory.
Festa finished the day with eight saves as Harvard was outshot, 16-3, on the day. Freeman had two of Harvard's three shots on the game, with Kiroki Kobayashi tallying the other.
Harvard returns home for its next contest when it takes on archrival Yale Saturday in a 7 p.m., showdown at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium.