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Harvard Women’s Soccer Drops 2-1 Decision to No. 18/19 California

Lauren Varela posted her fourth collegiate goal against Cal. Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot.

San Francisco – Despite a late goal from sophomore Lauren Varela, Harvard women's soccer fell to No. 18/19 California, 2-1, Friday night in the USF Tournament.

Cal struck early in the third minute, as Ifeoma Onumonu punched in a solo strike from the top of the box.

The Bears pushed their lead to 2-0 with a score in the 68th minute. Celeste Boureille posted her first goal of the season off a dish from Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick.

Harvard would not relent, as Varela, who came off the bench, corralled a rebound and buried the shot in the 77th minute. It marked the sophomore's fourth career goal.

Junior Bethany Kanten made five saves – including four over the first 45 minutes – in the loss. For the match, Harvard outshot Cal by a 12-10 margin, putting four shots on net.

In her first collegiate start, freshman Karly Zlatic did not waste time going to net, putting a shot on frame just 13 seconds into the match. Freshmen Bailey Gary and Midge Purce also earned their first collegiate start.

The Crimson returns to action on Sunday, Sept. 8 against host San Francisco. Harvard and USF kick off at 2 p.m. ET. A live stream can be seen here.