The Harvard men’s soccer team hosted the Haiti National Team on Sunday (April 10) in a game that raised funds for Partners In Health relief efforts in Haiti, still recovering from the earthquake that hit in January 2010.

The meeting also underscored Harvard’s connection to the island country. Besides earthquake relief organized by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, health clinics in Haiti have been in place for some time, organized and staffed with help from the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, as well as Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s and Children’s hospitals.

Having a ball

Photos by Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer

  • Yves George of Quincy walks past a kite emblazoned with Haitis colors with his son, Jaylen, 5, just outside the stadium.

    Yves George of Quincy walks past a kite emblazoned with Haiti's colors with his son, Jaylen, 5, just outside the stadium.

  • Wesler Dolcine St. Jean from Randolph, Mass., waves a Haitian flag outside the stadium as Haitian community members celebrate and blow horns during an impromptu pep rally.

    Wesler Dolcine St. Jean from Randolph, Mass., waves a Haitian flag outside the stadium as Haitian community members celebrate and blow horns during an impromptu pep rally.

  • Crimson midfielder Kyle Henderson 13 collides with his Haiti opponent as they fight for a loose ball.

    Crimson midfielder Kyle Henderson '13 collides with his Haiti opponent as they fight for a loose ball.

  • Crimson midfielder Kevin Harrington 13 goes high to control the ball past a Haiti defender.

    Crimson midfielder Kevin Harrington '13 goes high to control the ball past a Haiti defender.

  • Crimson defender Tim Linden 11 (left) vies for the ball with his Haiti opponent.

    Crimson defender Tim Linden '11 (left) vies for the ball with his Haiti opponent.

  • Haiti fans display their countrys colors as the team takes the field.

    Haiti fans display their country's colors as the team takes the field.

  • Crimson midfielder Kyle Henderson 13 watches as his Haiti opponent takes flight after they collided.

    Crimson midfielder Kyle Henderson '13 watches as his Haiti opponent takes flight after they collided.

  • Ralph Ternier (from left), director of community care for Partners In Health (PIH), PIH program coordinator Ali Lutz, and former soccer captain Rob Millock 11 display large checks made out to PIH and the Haitian Football Federation.

    Ralph Ternier (from left), director of community care for Partners In Health (PIH), PIH program coordinator Ali Lutz, and former soccer captain Rob Millock '11 display large checks made out to PIH and the Haitian Football Federation.

  • Crimson midfielder Jamie Rees 11 battles for the ball.

    Crimson midfielder Jamie Rees '11 battles for the ball.

  • Crimson midfielder Kyle Henderson 13 slides into his opponent.

    Crimson midfielder Kyle Henderson '13 slides into his opponent.

  • The teams played to a scoreless tie, but Haiti won on penalty kicks in overtime, 4-1.

    The teams played to a scoreless tie, but Haiti won on penalty kicks in overtime, 4-1.

  • Haiti players joyfully run toward the stands to salute the fans.

    Haiti players joyfully run toward the stands to salute the fans.

The game was an opportunity for Harvard and Haiti to come together in a positive way, to have fun, and to raise money for a good cause. And come together they did, with the Friends of Harvard Soccer raising funds to bring the Haiti team to Massachusetts; the Harvard Haitian Alliance staffing tables, taking tickets, and collecting donations; and Partners In Health organizing the event. Local Haitians came from Quincy and Cambridge and Mattapan, filling Harvard Stadium with their red and blue flags, clanging cowbells, and roaring as one whenever a Haiti player broke away toward the Harvard goal.

The Harvard men outshot their opponents 10-4 in the first half, and came breathtakingly close on a couple of shots, but to no avail. In the end, the teams played to a scoreless tie. Penalty kicks decided the outcome, with Haiti winning, 4-1. In a spontaneous gesture of goodwill, several Haiti players ran toward the stadium side populated by the outnumbered Harvard fans, raising their arms as if to say thanks, and both sides cheered each other on.