CAMBRIDGE, MASS. – Despite allowing Dartmouth to control the second half, a pair of first-half tallies propelled the Harvard Crimson over the Big Green women’s soccer team, 2-1, on Saturday afternoon at Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium.
With the win, Harvard is the 2013 Ivy League Women’s Soccer Champions and will represent the Ancient 8 in the NCAA Tournament.
Although Dartmouth was outshot in the contest, 18-12, the Big Green finished the second half with an 11-6 edge in attempts.
Harvard had a chance to score with 30 minutes remaining in the opening half on a thrown in, but a goal line save by junior defender Kate Castillo kept the game scoreless. The Crimson continued the offensive pressure and with 25:34 left, Margaret Purce gave them a 1-0 lead. Purce dribbled around the Dartmouth defense and sent a blast behind junior keeper Tatiana Saunders from 15 yards away.
Dartmouth almost tied the contest with 20 minutes left in the half, off a defensive miscue by Harvard. With the ball bouncing around the six-yard box, Harvard’s keeper and defender allowed the ball to roll before finally smothering it right as a Big Green forward was about to strike.
Harvard added its second goal of the half with 9:59 remaining on a chip shot by Peyton Johnson. Purce was credited with the assist after sending the pass to the streaking Johnson. After receiving the pass, Johnson raced into the box and chipped her shot over a charging Saunders that bounced over the line.
The Crimson outshot the Big Green at the half, 12-1, forcing Saunders to make four saves.
With 25:45 remaining in regulation, Dartmouth cut the lead in half, 2-1, off a perfectly timed corner kick by sophomore Corey Delaney to the far post and off the head of senior Kelly Brait. Prior to the goal, Dartmouth had an initial corner kick on the far side of the field, but a kick out by Harvard moved the ball to the right side, allowing Delaney the opportunity to set up the scoring chance.
Dartmouth had a chance to tie the game off another corner kick, but after multiple bounces inside the 18-yard box, Harvard cleared the ball in the 74th minute. Moments later, Dartmouth found a small hole in the Crimson defense, as sophomore Jackie Friedman sent a shot from 25 yards away just wide of the net.
Jessica Lukas then had an opportunity for Dartmouth on a 5-on-4 attack, but the freshman hit the side of the net from seven yards away with seven minutes remaining.
Saunders finished the game with five saves. Crimson keepers Cheta Emba and Lizzie Durack made four saves in the win.
Dartmouth will conclude the 2013 season when they host Cornell next Saturday, November 9 at noon. Prior to the game, head coach Theresa Romagnolo will honor the seven graduating members of the Class of 2014.