NEW BRITAIN - The Harvard Crimson and St. Johnâ€™s Red Storm had just forced a double overtime and neither side had many great chances throughout the game.
Yet Harvard did just enough with the chances it got that proved to be the difference.
Dani Stollar crossed a ball that was deflected by a St. Johnâ€™s defender and it landed in perfect position for Leah Mohammadi as Red Storm goaltender Jordan Kamp came out of her net. Mohammadiâ€™s shot hit the back of the goal as Harvard beat St. Johnâ€™s 1-0 Sunday.
â€śIâ€™ve never been so happy to score a goal in my entire soccer career,â€ť Mohammadi said. â€śI felt such a camaraderie with my team. Everybody put everything they had into it today.â€ť
Mohammadi was the focal point for the Harvard offense throughout the game, shooting five of Harvardâ€™s eight shots, including all three shots on goal.
She had a strike from about 45 yards out that just missed the goal wide right in the first half. In the second half, she had a similar shot, but Kamp just got a hand on it to tip it over the net. Mohammadi had another opportunity in the second half denied when Kemp deflected a header that Kamp denied with just less than seven minutes remaining.
â€śIn the first half both teams were trying to figure each other out,â€ť Harvard coach Chris Hamblin said. â€śIn the second half both teams starting to get rhythm and go for it. The game could have gone either way but Iâ€™m glad it went our way.â€ť
The matchup was pretty even as the first half was dominated by St. Johnâ€™s and Harvard controlled the second half.
â€śI thought we were pretty good today,â€ť St. Johnâ€™s coach Ian Stone said. â€śHarvard is a great team. Theyâ€™re going to do well this season.â€ť
Shea Connors had an excellent opportunity for St. Johns with 30 minutes left in the first half but Harvard goalie Danielle Etzel was able to come up with the save. In the second half, Mikhail Martinov had a free kick that just went over the net with 5:30 remaining in regulation.
â€śIn the college game thereâ€™s a very fine line between winning and losing,â€ť Stone said. â€śI thought it was there for the taking today we just didnâ€™t want it bad enough.â€ť
It showed in both overtime periods as St. John couldnâ€™t put a shot on net while the Crimson needed just the one shot on goal by Mohammadi.
Each goalie saw three shots on goal throughout the game as both defenses were stout.
â€śSt Johnâ€™s was great,â€ť Mohammadi said. â€śTheyâ€™re a really strong possession team we had to find the seams and find a way to play through them.â€ť
Harvard had three corner kicks in the game while St. Johnâ€™s did not get a corner kick opportunity.
The Crimson won both their games over the weekend at CCSU.
With the loss, St. Johnâ€™s drops to 3-1-1 on the season while Harvard improves to 3-2 with the win.
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @OrencoleDan