Men's Soccer Knocks Off Holy Cross, 1-0, In Non-Conference Finale

Men's Soccer Knocks Off Holy Cross, 1-0, In Non-Conference Finale

Oliver White logged the game-winner for Harvard Wednesday at Holy Cross (Gil Talbot). 

WORCESTER, Mass. - A first-half goal from forward Oliver White was all the scoring that was needed, as the Harvard men's soccer team took down Holy Cross, 1-0, Wednesday night at Smith Field. The match represented Harvard's (6-7-2) final non-conference bout of the regular season, and third straight victory. 

The battle was even in the early going, as neither team was able to muster a shot on goal through the first half of the opening stanza. Harvard coach Pieter Lehrer responded by sending in seven subs in just a two-minute span, and the rejuvinated lineup provided a spark for the Crimson offense. Senior Ross Friedman was the first to test Holy Cross keeper Michael Thompson with a shot in the 29th minute, but Thompson was equal to the task. 

The breakthrough followed soon after, as Friedman gained his third corner kick of the half. The senior directed the ball in play, and after a touch from Matt Sheeleigh, the ball landed at the foot of striker Oliver White, who buried the ball from five yards out to give the guests a 1-0 advantage. 

With the score, White became the 13th different Crimson player to record a goal this season, netting his first of the year. The teams closed the half level in shots at six apiece, while Harvard held a 3-0 edge in corner kicks. 

The Holy Cross offense picked up a bit in the second half, but the Crimson defense stayed sound and goalie Brett Conrad made three key saves to preserve the 1-0 lead. The Crusaders had one final look on a corner kick in the final minute of play, but the ensuing shot was blocked by the Harvard defense, ending the game in a 1-0 final. 

Harvard now turns it attention back to league play, as it travels to New York Saturday to take on Columbia in a 7:00 p.m. game. Harvard currently sits in first place in the Ivy League standings and controls its destiny on its quest for the Ivy League title.