WORCESTER, Mass. – Oliver White scored the game-winning goal for the Crimson in the first half as the Holy Cross men's soccer team fell to Harvard, 1-0, in non-conference action at the Linda Johnson Smith Soccer Stadium on Wednesday night. With the loss, the Crusaders fall to 7-8-1 overall, while the Crimson improve to 6-7-2 overall.
Harvard had a scoring opportunity in the 24th minute when Matt Sheeleigh sent a shot just over the net off a corner kick. The Crimson then took the first shot on goal of the contest in the 29th minute when Ross Friedman had his shot saved by junior goalie Michael Thompson (Cromwell, Conn.). White netted the game-winner at 29:54 for his first goal of the season. Friedman sent a corner kick to Sheeleigh who headed the ball to White who buried the ball to the back of the net from five yards out. In the 38th minute Sheeleigh fired a shot from 20 yards out the was saved by Thompson. The Crusaders then took their first shot on goal of the game when senior captain Monty Sanders (Temecula, Calif.) had his attempt from 12 yards out denied by Harvard goalie Brett Conrad in the 42nd minute.
Just 44 seconds after the start of the second half, senior Max Pettinelli (Scituate, Mass.) blasted a shot from 25 yards out that was tipped over the net by Conrad. In the 48th minute, freshman Matt Villano (Basking Ridge, N.J.) intercepted a back pass attempt by the Crimson and went one-on-one with the goalie, but Conrad was able to make the big save to keep the Crusaders off the scoreboard. In the 52nd minute, the Crimson almost increased its lead but a shot by Pieter Zenner was knocked over the net by Thompson. In the 85th minute a header by Villano just went wide of the lower right side of the net keeping the score at 1-0. The Crusaders earned two corner kick opportunities during the 89th minute but were unable to score the equalizer for the 1-0 final score.
Thompson made seven saves, while Conrad posted four. Holy Cross outshot Harvard, 13-11, while the Crimson took eight shots on goal and the Crusaders had four. The Crimson took five corner kicks and the Crusaders earned four.
"This was a tough physical game which was similar to a playoff game so this was a good experience for us moving forward," said Holy Cross head coach Marco Koolman. "We had some really good chances that we were unable to take advantage of. We can take some positives from this game as we prepare for our futures games."
The Crusaders return to action on Saturday, Nov. 9, when they conclude the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Patriot League opponent Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pa., at 7:00 p.m. The Crusaders have qualified for the Patriot League Tournament for the first time since 2008. The Crusaders will be either the No. 3 or No. 4 seed in the six-team tournament and will host a quarterfinal game on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 7:00 p.m.
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