HANOVER, N.H. – The Dartmouth women’s soccer team fell to rival Harvard, 2-0 on Senior Day at Burnham Field on Saturday afternoon.
The loss drops the Big Green to 6-6-2 overall, 0-4-2 in the Ivy League, while the Crimson improve to 9-3-3, 3-0-2 in conference play.
Prior to the contest, Dartmouth honored its six seniors, including the Big Green’s goalkeeper, Casey Cousineau, who finished the afternoon with as many saves.
“The seniors have worked tremendously hard,” Dartmouth head coach Ron Rainey said. “At the end of their four years here, it’s neat to have seen them grow as players and as people. Hopefully they have learned things they can take forward when they leave Dartmouth.”
Under cold and rainy conditions, the match got off to a slow start as neither team registered a shot through 10 minutes of play. The Big Green had a decent opportunity midway through the opening half when Gia Parker controlled the ball in the box, but could not connect with a teammate. With 23 minutes to play in the half, Cousineau made a nice diving save to keep it scoreless game for the time being.
In the 36th minute, Harvard broke the stalemate when Rachel Garcia headed in a loose ball after a Leah Mohammadi corner kick from the far side for the 1-0 lead.
After halftime, the teams returned to the field for the second half, where Dartmouth created a few chances to get back into the contest. About 10 minutes into the half, the Big Green came within inches of tying the game when a shot bounced off the crossbar off a Brittany Champagne corner kick.
The Crimson continued to keep pressure on Dartmouth’s defense which led to Harvard’s second goal of the game in the 62nd minute. Margaret Purce, the leading goal scorer in the Ivy League, tallied her 11th goal of the season when she worked around the Big Green defense and fired a hard shot that beat Cousineau to her right side.
Trailing by two goals, Dartmouth did not give up as Meredith Gurnee nearly scored on a short breakaway with 10 minutes to play in the game, but her shot went wide to the left.
“I think we have to be happy with some of the chances we generated against a good team,” Rainey said. “We are at the time of the year where little mistakes are going to hurt you. Harvard earned a couple of good goals, but I thought we created enough chances to score a couple. What we have to do is take this into our next game which is a non-league game and learn from some of these Ivy League games.”
The Big Green return to action this Tuesday for a non-conference tilt at UMass Lowell at 6 p.m.