Harvard fended off Cornell for the second year in a row. (Penny Ashford)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's soccer team pushed its win streak to seven games on Saturday evening with a grinding 1-0 win over Cornell at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium. The seven consecutive victories is the most by a Harvard team since the 2006 campaign. Senior Hiroki Kobayashi tallied the game's lone goal as the Crimson improves to 7-3, 2-0 in Ivy League play.
Harvard, which consistently tests its opponents in the offensive third, fired off 13 shots to Cornell's seven. Evan Mendez earned his second clean sheet in a row behind a stout defensive effort as well, making two saves in the victory.
Early in the first, Mendez was tested in a very back-and-forth contest, but as time ticked away, the Crimson began to press Cornell and its back line. Harvard maintained much of the possession, but neither team got too close to connecting for a score.
In the second, however, both teams combined for 13 shots, four on goal. Things started early for the Crimson has Ashby fired a header on Cornell keeper Zach Zagorski. Shortly after, the Crimson broke through. Christian Sady nearly got a shot past Zagorski, but Kobayashi scooped up the loose ball and fired away the eventual game winner, his third score of the year.
From there, the combination of Harvard's press and collective defensive pressure kept the Big Red in check, as things stayed in the Crimson's offensive half of the field for the most part. Cornell made a run in the last 10 minutes, attempting to knot things at 1-1, but Harvard halted any attack and slipped away with its second Ivy League victory of the year.
Next, the Crimson will face Holy Cross on Wednesday, looking for its eighth win in a row.