Chase Reichenberg scored the first goal for the River Hawks on Monday night. (Courtesy of UMass Lowell Athletics)
The men’s soccer team beat the Harvard University Crimson Monday night, 3-0, to earn their third straight win of the season. All three goals for the River Hawks came in the second half, including one in the last 45 seconds, and contributed to the team’s unbeaten record.
“I thought it was a good performance. I don’t think the score necessarily reflects the type of team Harvard is, I thought they had a great game plan,” said UMass Lowell head coach Christian Figueroa. “I think our guys did a great job of being patient today and waiting for the game to open up to create their opportunities and the three goals in the second half prove that.”
The scoreless first half started in UMass Lowell’s favor, as the team maintained possession for the first 10 minutes. The River Hawks’ defensemen passed the ball in the back field until they were able to send long-range passes up the field to an open forward. The Crimson defense was able to intercept an occasional pass, but could not push the ball forward.
Four minutes into the game, the River Hawks found themselves near the goal, but Harvard goalkeeper Kyle Parks came off his line and stopped any advancement opportunities for UMass Lowell.
Harvard had the first shot on goal of the game, despite struggling to keep the ball in their favor. The Crimson were awarded a free kick in the 18th minute and forward Philip Hausen headed the ball toward the goal, but the shot went to the left of the net.
In the 31st minute, UMass Lowell took a free kick and this was their first shot on goal. Ivan Blaskic almost got a foot on the shot as he slid towards the ball, but Parks was there to clear it. Dario Jovanovski gathered the rebound for the River Hawks and got a shot off, but Parks made the save.
Harvard maintained their defensive line and was able to steal the ball, which resulted in Paolo Belloni-Urso taking a shot from the top of the box, but a UMass Lowell defenseman blocked the ball.
A minute later, Ivan Abramovic took another free kick for the River Hawks, but his shot narrowly missed the goal and hit off the post. Duran Lee found the rebound and his low shot slid to the right of the net.
With six minutes remaining in the half, Richard Mulo had another shot for UMass Lowell, but it was saved by Parks. Harvard followed with an opportunity off a corner kick, but Nathan Goldberg’s header went wide of the goal.
The second half started with more back and forth action than the first half, but UMass Lowell was able to score in the 52nd minute, following a free kick from Jakov Basic. Blaskic received the ball from Basic inside the box and got a shot off, but Parks made the save, although he did not grab the ball. Chase Reichenberg found the rebound and sent the ball to the back of the net and earned his first goal of the season.
Ten minutes later, the River Hawks extended their lead following a Harvard corner kick. UMass Lowell goalkeeper Austin Kroll punched the ball away to the feet of Alejandro Osorio who then passed to Federico Ferre. Ferre ran up the length of the field towards the Crimson goal and sent a pass to Jovanovski. As he got in a position to shoot, Jovanovski sent the ball across the goal to find the right-hand corner of the net.
Harvard did not see another chance to score until the 77th minute when Matthew Glass gathered a rebound following a corner kick, but his shot hit the post.
The momentum remained in the River Hawks’ favor as they saw a few more chances to extend their lead in the final minutes, but their shots continuously went wide of the net or were cleared by Harvard’s defense. It was not until the last 45 seconds of the game that UMass Lowell was able to score their third and final goal. Reichenberg sent a long pass to Lee who crossed the ball into Basic. With a powerful shot to the top corner of the net, Basic secured the game at 3-0.
“We stress [the team being patient] in the beginning of the game, just trying to see what they’re going to give us and knowing that the first forty-five minutes they were giving us a lot of time on the ball, I think the stress is really waiting for the game to open up for us,” said Figueroa.
The River Hawks will travel to Northeastern University on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. and return home next Wednesday, Sept. 13 to take on Quinnipiac University at 7 p.m.