October 16, 2010

No. 15 Bears Battle Harvard to 0-0 Draw

Providence, RI-  Despite having a 25-6 advantage in shots, the No. 15 Brown University men's soccer team battled the Harvard Crimson to a 0-0 double overtime draw on Saturday night at Stevenson Field.   The Bears moved to 7-1-3 on the year with a 1-1-1 mark in the Ivy League, while Harvard is now 4-3-5 with a 1-0-2 Ivy record.

The Bears came out with intensity and set the pace of the game right from the start as the squad fired off seven shots, two on goal, and allowed Harvard to just one shot in the first 23 minutes of the game.  Junior forward Sean Rosa (Montreal, Quebec) blasted a shot toward the low right corner of the net, but Harvard goalkeeper Austin Harms made a diving save at the 22:26 mark.  Junior midfielder Taylor Gorman (Freeport, ME) then followed it up with a shot from the left side 45 seconds later, but the ball sailed just wide. 

The Bears continued to make the game interesting and keep the pressure on Harvard, as sophomore defender Dylan Remick (Inverness, IL) sent a cross from the left side over to junior Austin Mandel (Tarzana, CA) in the middle of the box.  Mandel nailed a shot toward the net, but the ball once again missed wide. 

Harvard had its first good look on the goal six minutes before the half on a corner kick.   Forward Obiajulu Agha got his head on the ball, but sent it wide.  Brown's Mandel had the team's 11th shot of the half with 1:20 remaining on the clock, but the Bears still could not find the back of the net as both squads headed into halftime scoreless.

Brown came out after the half and once again dominated the Crimson.  Bruno rallied for 10 shots as the defense allowed Harvard to just one.  Rosa got off a shot at the 60:24 mark but it was blocked by the Harvard defense, and junior T.J. Popolizio (Rexford, NY) headed a shot just a few seconds later that was blocked by the Crimson's back line.  It wasn't until the 75:24 mark when the Crimson earned its first and only shot on goal.  Jamie Rees drove a low shot toward the Bears' goal, but senior goalkeeper Paul Grandstrand came up with his lone save of the night. 

The Bears came out a bit flat during the first overtime period, as Harvard was able to earn a 2-0 edge in shots against the Bears in the 10-minute stanza.   A shot by Tim Linden missed high at the 93:38 mark, and a header shot by Richard Smith went wide at 99:48 after a corner kick by Scott Prozeller.

The intensity increased for Bruno in the final overtime, as the Bears pressured the Crimson from the start and fired off four shots to Harvard's zero.  Thomas McNamara (West Nyack, NY) took two shots that were blocked the defenders, as Gorman had a chance at the 103:00 mark and junior Jay Hayward (Acton, MA) had the Bears' final look at 108:23 that was saved by Harms. 

There was a total of 40 fouls called in tonight's game, 22 on Harvard and 18 on the Bears.  Brown held a 7-5 advantage in corner kicks.   Harvard's Harms ended the game with six saves in goal, while Grandstrand finished with one. 

The Bears will be back in action at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday when they take on Hartwick at Stevenson Field.