Story by Catherine Morrison
Photo by Mike Puzzanghera
Northeastern played nationally ranked Harvard on a humid afternoon in Brookline with everything they had, but in the end it wasn’t enough. The game opened with an amazing save by Husky goalkeeper Megan Adams, setting the tone for the rest of the game where Northeastern would continue to make some incredible saves.
Northeastern and Harvard battled it out for the first ten minutes, until Crimson freshman Murphy Agnew smoothly kicked the ball just in front of the net. Adams couldn’t track the ball and it sailed in for the first goal of the game.
Not three minutes later, Adams made an incredible save when Agnew went in for another goal, essentially blocking the ball with her face. Unfortunately, Adams ended up injured from the hit, having to leave the field with blood dripping from her face. Junior Angeline Friel ended up subbing in for Adams, and had an incredible game, coming in from the sidelines to keep Northeastern in a tight game with a team that plays at a higher competitive level than Northeastern is used to.
Head coach Ashely Phillips was aglow with praise for her goalkeeper, saying, “Angeline’s a leader here. She’s played a lot, she’s a veteran. This year was a battle, and Megan’s kind of earned herself some time, but Angeline has been fighting her way back into that the whole way.”
Phillips continued her praise for Friel.
“We would not be in that game if she did not make some of those saves, so I’m really proud of her,” Phillips said. “That’s a hard spot to be in as a goalkeeper coming in from the backup you have to be a hero, but I think it’s just a testament to her as a kid, and as a person.”
The excitement didn’t stop there, when a foul was called on Harvard’s goalkeeper Hannah Gardner for sliding into Northeastern’s Mckenna McManus. McManus took advantage of the rare misstep by the Crimson and faked Gardner out, causing her to dive left while the ball went right, tying the game.
“I think early on, we were talking about how we can get in behind them… for Mckenna as a veteran, probably one of our most technically gifted players to step up and just bury it. It really shows credit to her character in those moments, they’re nerve wracking, but she trains for it, she practices for it, so we always have faith in her in those moments,” Phillips said.
Despite Harvard pounding the Northeastern net, with a final tally of 30 shots (versus Northeastern’s eight), the Huskies managed to stay the course, fighting for possession of the ball and refusing to let up. The buzzer sounded for the end of regulation time, and the game was still tied. Overtime was up next.
The first overtime followed the same theme as the rest of the game, with Harvard and Northeastern battling for the ball and Friel making incredible saves to keep the Huskies alive. However, in the second overtime, Northeastern’s energy levels were clearly depleted, and Harvard was able to use that to their advantage, seizing on a rare moment of weakness and scoring, ending the game 2-1 Harvard.
Despite Northeastern’s loss, Phillips was proud of how her team played.
“It was a great game, I think for us to have an opponent like Harvard come in here and they’re playing really well, they’re ranked number nineteen in the country right now, and I think it was great to see the girls kind of rise to the occasion,” Phillips said, “I mean they’re a great team, they created a ton of chances, I thought we had some chances of our own, it was just enjoyable. I think if anyone loves the game of soccer and wants to see people compete, that was probably one of the most competitive games we’ve seen so far this season.”
Northeastern looks to snap their losing streak with an away game against Brown in Providence, Rhode Island on Sunday at 1 p.m.