A potential conference win against Harvard (8–4–4 overall, 2–1–3 Ivy League) was stolen from the men’s soccer team (6–5–4, 1–2–3) on Saturday by a pair of late goals by the Crimson, erasing Princeton’s 2–0 lead.
At Roberts Stadium, the Tigers consistently applied pressure throughout the first 15 minutes of the game. Princeton finally capitalized on their quick passing and offensive pressure when senior forward Daniel Diaz Bonilla opened the scoring in the 25th minute, heading a cross from senior midfielder Mateo Godoy into the bottom right corner of the goal to give the Tigers a 1–0 lead.
“At times in the first half we connected well because of our one-touch passing out of tight spaces,” Diaz Bonilla told The Daily Princetonian. “Out of the back, we played early entry balls that caught Harvard off guard.”
The decisive attacking and passing ability of the Tigers continued into the second half, leading to a goal by junior forward Walker Gillespie less than a minute after halftime to put Princeton up 2–0.
However, Princeton continued to struggle with some of the same problems they have experienced all year, most notably with defending against set pieces. Harvard took advantage of this weakness in the second half and cut the deficit to 2–1 in the 66th minute thanks to a goal set up by a corner kick.
Harvard continued to press their attack throughout the final 20 minutes of the game, but exceptional play from Princeton sophomore goalkeeper Will Watson, who managed 10 saves, kept the Tigers ahead.
Eventually though, more trouble with set pieces would prove to be the Tigers’ kryptonite. With just five minutes remaining in the game, Harvard took a free kick from about 25 yards out that was rebounded into the goal to tie the game 2–2.
Harvard finished the game with 34 shots compared to Princeton’s 16. The Tigers also committed over double the number of fouls as the Crimson. Princeton’s attack was effectively stifled for most of the second half, while Harvard was able to exploit the Tigers’ weakness on set pieces.
Diaz Bonilla noted how Princeton’s fouling led to the Crimson goals, saying, “Both of their goals came from fouls outside the box that allowed for dangerous set pieces.”
“We want to end the season on a high note and get a solid win over a good team,” Bonilla continued.
The team ends their season against No. 21 Penn (11–2–2, 5–1) on Nov. 12 at Roberts Stadium.
Kameron Wolters is a staff writer for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’ Please direct any corrections requests to email@example.com.