Women's Soccer

Syracuse beats Harvard 1-0 on goalkeeper’s blunder

Todd Michaelek | Contributing Photographer

Syracuse escaped a win over Harvard to improve to 5-2-1 in 2017.

Syracuse didn’t convert all game long. Yet in the 50th minute Sunday afternoon at SU soccer stadium, Harvard goalkeeper Kat Hess charged at a ball she hoped to clear from the net. She wound back, followed through and whiffed. The ball rolled behind her and into the net for the only score of the game. 

“You could practice that 100 times, it will happen once,” Syracuse senior goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan said. 

Syracuse (5-2-1) was the beneficiary of a Harvard (4-2-0) accidental goal in its 1-0 win.  The Orange couldn’t convert on any of its offensive chances, yet still pulled out the win on Hess’s blunder.

“It doesn’t matter how the ball goes into the goal, it still counts” SU head coach Phil Wheddon said. “Whether it’s a screamer from 30 yards or a sloppy goal that bounces around, they all count the same.”

Syracuse hasn’t lost when taking 10 or more shots this season. Sunday was no different. The Orange put enough pressure on the Harvard defense for mistakes such as the own goal. Kate Hostage, who was front and center for the goal, thought that SU executed on that chance.

“I was surprised, but I’ve seen it happen before,” Hostage said. “I did my best to put pressure on it and it went in.”

Despite the fortunate play for Syracuse, there was little offensive life in the game. The Orange dominated possession for the early part of the game but were unable to capitalize on scoring opportunities.

In the second half, after threatening the Crimson with seven shots in the first period, Syracuse went through a 19-minute drought failing to record a shot. After Hostage sailed a shot high over the left post of the goal in the 81st minute, the Orange grew aggressive on its chances.

Sydney Brackett responded to the increased aggression by firing two more shots within two minutes of Hostage’s attack. They both sailed high. Harvard still had a chance. 

Down one, the Crimson took control with under 10 minutes to go. It dominated possession and the ball was played into the teeth of the Syracuse defense.

Within five minutes, the pressure on Syracuse to maintain the lead was at its height. The Crimson were awarded two free kicks on fouls by Syracuse that lead to two close opportunities.  The last, which came with two seconds remaining in the game, had players on both sides scrambling to get set.

“Get in the goal,” Wheddon shouted from the sideline at Brosnan.

The Orange buckled down on that play and secured the win after the buzzer neutralized Harvard’s chance at yet another corner kick.

Syracuse was lifted by a phenomenal performance by Brosnan, who had six saves. A few came in key moments of the game. With the offense not providing a single opportunity within the final 7:57 of the game, the SU defense stepped up to secure the win before conference play. 

“A goal’s a goal,” Hostage said.

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