Corners, Shots Go Men’s Soccer’s Way in 0-0 Tie Against Yale

Corners, Shots Go Men’s Soccer’s Way in 0-0 Tie Against Yale

Kyle Henderson hit the post in the second half of a 0-0 tie with Yale Saturday (Gil Talbot).

The Harvard men's soccer team held a 23-11 edge in shots and 20-6 advantage in corner kicks, but couldn't find the back of the net as the Crimson played to a 0-0 tie with archrival Yale Saturday at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium. The game marks the first Ivy League contest for both teams.

It was a midfield battle for most of the first half as the teams combined for just four shots on goal through the first 45 minutes. Yale had a good look earlier in the half near the top of the Harvard box, but the Harvard defense stepped up for a block to quell the threat. Harvard nearly broke the scoreless tie just minutes away from halftime when Jake Freeman arched a header towards the upper corner of the goal, forcing Yale keeper Bobby Thalman to make a leaping parry save to continue the clean sheet. The Crimson ended the half with a slight, 7-6, edge in shots and 4-3 advantage in corner kicks.

The momentum swung firmly in Harvard's direction for the majority of the second half as Harvard outshot the Bulldogs, 13-4, and had 12 corner kicks to Yale's one. Harvard's best chance of the game came in the 77th minute when Kyle Henderson collected a ball just outside the box and blasted a shot towards the opposite side of the net that clanged off the post and skirted away from trouble. Yale's counter-attack produced two great scoring chances, but goalie Joe Festa made a solid first save and smothered the rebound attempt to keep the game scoreless.

Harvard posted three shots between the two overtime periods, forcing Thalman to make two saves to preserve the clean sheet. Festa ended the game with four saves while Thalman made seven in the 0-0 draw.  

Harvard continues its three-game homestand Tuesday when it welcomes cross-town rival Boston College to Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium for a 7 p.m., game.