Providence Penalty Kick Lifts Friars Past Men’s Soccer, 3-1

Providence Penalty Kick Lifts Friars Past Men’s Soccer, 3-1

Hiroki Kobayashi netted the first goal of the game Thursday in Providence (Gil Talbot).

Despite jumping out to a 1-0 lead on Hiroki Kobayashi's first goal of the season, the Harvard men's soccer team saw Providence net three unanswered goals, including the game-winner on second-half penalty kick, in a 3-1 loss to the Friars Thursday. Providence (4-0-1) remains undefeated on the season while Harvard (0-3-0) is still in search of its first win of the 2013 schedule.

The hosts dominated much of the action through the first 27 minutes of play, firing five shots towards the Harvard goal and forcing keeper Brett Conrad to make saves on three of them.  The Crimson defense held strong, however, turning away three Providence corner kicks and keeping the game scoreless.

Three Harvard subs provided a spark for the guests in the 29th minute, and David Barna put Harvard's first shot on goal soon after, forcing Keasel Broome to come up with the save. With halftime rapidly approaching, the Crimson grabbed a 1-0 lead on the Kobayashi goal. Rookie Stephen Yen fed the ball to Kobayashi, who weaved around a Friar defender and beat the keeper with a blast to the far side of the net with just 2:35 to play in the half. The lead was short-lived, however, as Providence rushed to deliver a corner kick and the low cross was redirected in by Julian Gressel with five seconds to play, knotting the score at 1-1 at the half.

Conrad started the second stanza with a pair of solid saves to keep the game level at 1-1, but a Crimson penalty in the 75th minute resulted in a penalty kick for the hosts. Anthony Baumann stepped up to take the kick and buried it for his first goal of the season and a 2-1 lead for Providence. The Friar lead was extended to 3-1 just over five minutes later, when Conrad stopped Nick Sailor's shot but saw Manny Andrade clean up the rebound to seal the 3-1 victory for Providence.

Conrad had a busy day in net for the Crimson, totaling seven saves in the contest. Broome needed just one stop on the day to record his fourth win of the season. Both teams finished the game with three corner kicks each, while Providence held a 9-3 shots advantage.

Harvard returns home for its next contest, as it hosts Lafayette Sunday at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium in a 3 p.m., game.