The Harvard men’s soccer team (0-2-2, 0-0) netted its first goal of the season to tie No. 23 Seton Hall (3-1-1, 0-0) 1-1 despite a more than two-hour rain delay, but later fell scoreless in a midweek game to the Northeastern Huskies (3-1-2) 0-4.
Harvard vs. Seton Hall, 1-1
In a game marked by a two-hour lightning delay, Harvard faced one of its largest challenges thus far in the season against the nationally-ranked Pirates. Seton Hall led for most of the game until senior Nik White tied it for Harvard in dramatic fashion during the 90th minute.
The Pirates started hot with a goal in the tenth minute off the foot of Northeastern graduate student Andrea Borg. Northeastern junior Sam Bjork attempted a shot, and while Crimson sophomore goalkeeper Lucian Wood tried to collect it, Borg took advantage and put Seton Hall up one.
The game remained back-and-forth until the very last minute. Harvard had several opportunities at the net, including four shots by junior Alessandro Arlotti. First year Dylan Tellado took a chance in the 26th minute, later followed up by two shots by Arlotti in the 29th and 41st minute.
The Crimson entered the second half down one but still maintained pressure on the Pirates, earning opportunities off of junior Marko Isakovic’s free kick in the 53rd minute, as well as another Arlotti chance in the 55th.
Although Tellado had another look at the net in the 85th, it would come down to the final minute to decide the game. In the 90th, sophomore Matus Vician fired a long free kick into the box. Junior Jan Riecke headed it forward to the foot of senior captain Nik White, who buried a shot past Seton Hall graduate student goalkeeper Mats Roorda to end the game.
Although trailing for most of the contest, Harvard created opportunities for all 90 minutes. The Crimson held the edge in shots on goal with nine to the Pirates’ two. Arlotti led the Crimson with four shots and three shots on goal, while White and Rieke anchored Harvard’s defense, both playing all 90 minutes.
Rieke earned his first career point this game with the assist on White’s goal, while Vician notched his first assist of the season. White’s goal was his first of the 2023 campaign, following up from last year, where he had three goals and seven points.
Harvard vs. Northeastern, 0-4
Arlotti had five shots on goal in the Crimson’s 4-0 loss to the Huskies. Arlotti currently leads Harvard with 13 shots on the season. Northeastern took an early 1-0 lead in the tenth minute off the foot of senior Federico Tellez, rattling the shot off the crossbar past Wood.
Although Harvard generated strength at the net in the first half, including a header from Arlotti and a long shot from senior Ale Gutierrez, it was unable to convert and left the first half down one. The Crimson kept it close until the 66th minute, when Northeastern went on a three-goal run in nine minutes.
In the 66th, Tellez struck again, converting a corner kick with graduate student Jack Monte to put the Huskies up two. Shortly after, sophomore Fraser Brown fired the ball into the upper right-hand side of the net off a pass from senior Fabrizio Cubeddu. The scoring ended in the 75th, when junior Griffin Polinsky scored off of a Northeastern counterattack.
Tuesday’s game marked the return of senior Willem Ebbinge, who missed the first three games of the season helping New Zealand win the OFC Olympic Qualifying final against Fiji. With Ebbinge’s return, Harvard gained its leader in points and assists from the 2022 season. He ranked third in the NCAA in assists per game (0.69) and seventh overall in total assists with 12 on his way to First Team All-Ivy Honors.
Although the Crimson has just one goal on the season, it has generated many good opportunities. As a team, it tallied 40 shots and 17 shots on goal so far. Arlotti’s 13 shots leads the team, while White’s goal against Seton Hall puts him in first for points. Riecke has had a solid presence for the Crimson, having played every minute this season so far. The Crimson look to bounce back from Tuesday and build on their success against the Pirates this Saturday, Sept. 16th, at home on Jordan Field against Vermont at 5:00 pm EST.
— Staff writer Maddie B. Barkate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.