Women’s Soccer Heads to BU for First Round of NCAA Tournament

Photo courtesy of Tim Hart
Photo courtesy of Tim Hart
Harvard looks to continue its 14-game unbeaten streak at BU Saturday in the NCAA tournament.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Advancing to its 14th NCAA tournament in program history, Harvard women's soccer heads to No. 25 Boston University Saturday for a 3 p.m. match at Nickerson Field. The game will be streamed live through the Patriot League Network and can be seen here.

Ivy Champs!
Harvard (12-3-2, 7-0), the 2013 Ivy League champion, wrapped its conference slate with a perfect 7-0 record for the first time since 1999 and the third time overall. The Crimson captured its 11th Ivy League title and fourth over the last six years with a 2-1 win over Dartmouth on Senior Day Nov. 2.

Just Win Baby Win
After stumbling to a 0-3 start, the Crimson is unbeaten over the last 14 games, dating back to Sept. 11. The 14-match unbeaten streak marks the longest in Crimson women's soccer history. Harvard has twice ripped off six-straight wins (Sept. 15-Oct. 5, Oct. 12-present) matching the longest streak for the Crimson since 2009.

Postseason History
This marks the fourth NCAA appearance for head coach Ray Leone. Harvard last made the tourney in 2011, when the Crimson met Boston University and dropped a 3-0 result in the first round. The Crimson has faced a Boston-area team in each of its last three NCAA tournament appearances (BU in 2011, BC in 2009 and Northeastern in 2008).  

Last Time Out
Harvard defeated Columbia, 2-1, at Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium a week ago. Senior captain Elizabeth Weisman tallied Harvard's first goal, while junior midfielder Meg Cascells-Hamby posted the eventual game winner in the 43rd minute.

All-Time Against the Terriers
Harvard and BU played to a 1-1 draw Oct. 8 behind a first-half goal from freshman Midge Purce. It marked the lone goal the Terriers have allowed at home all season. In a series that dates back to 1977, the Crimson leads the Terriers by a 12-5-5 margin, but the two teams have knotted each of the last two matches.

Scouting BU (14-3-4, 8-1)
BU won its first-ever Patriot League championship, defeating Navy 1-0 in the finals behind a shutout effort from senior goalkeeper Andrea Green. This marks BU's 11th bid to the NCAA tournament.

The Terriers are led in scoring by Erica Kosienski (15 points) and Madison Clemens (13 points). Green will be between the pipes for BU after holding a 0.26 GAA through 20 games (11-3-3) with 38 saves.

In her 19th season overseeing BU, Patriot League Coach of the Year Nancy Feldman led the Terriers to nine of the last 13 America East titles. In her first season in the Patriot League, Feldman guided BU to a share of the regular season title, as well as the conference championship. 

Midge Scores
Freshman forward Midge Purce sits tied for ninth all-time on the Harvard scoring list with 26 points. She is the first rookie to tally 26 points since Naomi Miller '99 in 1995.

Home Cookin'
The Crimson holds a 20-4-5 home record since moving to Soldiers Field Soccer Stadium.

Down But Not Out
Harvard's opponent has scored first in seven matches this season, but the Crimson has rallied to tie or win four times (2-3-2), last against Brown Oct. 19. Harvard has failed to score just once through 17 matches this season.  

Close Calls
Ten of Harvard's 17 matches have been decided by one goal or have ended in a draw.

Depth in Net
Three goalkeepers have started between the pipes for the Crimson and will rotate in net. Junior Cheta Emba has started nine of 12 games played, maintaining a 0.16 GAA with 19 saves (577 minutes). Freshman Lizzie Durack (5-0) – coming off a UEFA finals appearance with England's U19 team – has earned two shutouts in 2013 and has logged 628 minutes with a 0.72 GAA. Junior Bethany Kanten has earned five starts in eight games played, seeing 374 minutes in net and posting a 1.93 goals against average.

Share the Wealth
Fourteen (14) Crimson athletes have registered two-plus points this season. Six Harvard players – Laura AguilarJoan FleischmanKristina GarridoMarie Margolius, Midge Purce and Karly Zlatic – have recorded their first career points this season.

Looking Ahead
The winner of Harvard and BU will advance to face either California or Santa Clara in the second round Nov. 22.