Needing one win to claim the Ancient Eight crown and an automatic NCAA playoff berth, freshman defender Richard Smith came up big for the Harvard men’s soccer team against Penn on Nov. 15, netting the game’s only goal in the 68th minute to put the Crimson up, 1-0.

From there, tight defensive play for Harvard was enough to hold off the Quakers, as the Crimson clinched their first Ivy League championship since 2006 (13th overall) and finished the regular season with the team’s best record in more than a decade.

Harvard vs. Penn

Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer

  • Flight 006 clearing for takeoff

    Flight 006 clearing for takeoff

    Baba Omosegbon '12 leaps over a fallen Penn player in pursuit of the ball.

  • Making necessary headway

    Making necessary headway

    Crimson midfielder Adam Rousmaniere '10 tries to put a head on the ball while fending off a defender.

  • Running toward the rock

    Running toward the rock

    In a mad dash for the ball, Harvard midfielder Desmond Mitchell '10 is too fast for his Penn counterpart.

  • Quality control

    Quality control

    Crimson midfielder Robert Millock '11 controls the ball in front of a Penn player.

  • Passing through

    Passing through

    Andre Akpan '10 moves swiftly down the field toward a Penn defender.

  • Put it on the board

    Put it on the board

    Two-time Ivy Rookie of the Week Brian Rogers '13 celebrates after teammate Richard Smith '13 scores the game's only goal.

  • The impenetrable wall

    The impenetrable wall

    A diving Austin Harms '12 makes one of two key saves on the day, earning his sixth shutout of the year in Harvard's 1-0 victory over Penn.

  • The victors

    The victors

    Erupting in cheers, the Harvard men's soccer team celebrates a hard-earned Ivy League Championship.

  • Bringing 'Ivy' back to Cambridge

    Bringing 'Ivy' back to Cambridge

    Baba Omosegbon '12 (left) and Andre Akpan '10 share a joyful moment at game's end.

Sophomore goalkeeper Austin Harms made two saves in posting his sixth shutout of the season. Smith’s game-winning tally was his first career goal, and earned him Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors.

The Crimson finished the regular season ranked 11th nationally with a record of 13-3-1 (5-1-1 Ivy League). Harvard, who has a first round bye in the NCAA tournament, will host the winner of Friday’s (Nov. 20) Monmouth or Connecticut match. Game time is set for Sunday (Nov. 22, 1 p.m.) at Ohiri Field.