The Crimson needs a win or draw to claim the Ivy League championship (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Celebrating its senior class with the opportunity to win the Ivy title, Harvard women's soccer hosts Columbia on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. on Jordan Field. The contest will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Around the Ancient Eight
Harvard is currently first in the Ivy League at 4-0-2, one point clear of 4-1-1 Columbia entering the final weekend. Third place Brown is three points back, and cannot climb high enough to secure the title. The winner of the Harvard-Columbia clash will win the league outright, while the Crimson can also claim the title with a draw.
Last Time Out
Utilizing a pair of goals to go with a staunch defense, Harvard women's soccer pushed past Dartmouth, 2-0, on Saturday afternoon at Burnham Field. Harvard improved to 9-3-3 overall, and 4-0-2 in Ivy League play, while Dartmouth dropped to 6-6-2 on the season with a 0-4-2 mark in the Ancient Eight.
Seniors Rachel Garcia and Margaret Purce found the back of the net for the Crimson, scoring their fifth and 11th goals of the season, respectively. Garcia and sophomore Leah Mohammadi earned assists in the game, while senior Lizzie Durack tallied her fifth shutout of the season with a pair of saves between the posts.
The Class of 2017
Harvard women's soccer will honor its senior class prior to Saturday's game in an on-field ceremony. The group of Lizzie Durack, Joan Fleischman, Rachel Garcia, Margaret Purce, Carly Rotatori, Marissa Segala and Karly Zlatic has helped the Crimson to 40 wins over four years, along with an impressive 21-2-4 mark in the Ivy League (.852).
It has been 56 days since the last Crimson loss, with Harvard winning five straight games from Sept. 11-Oct. 1 before notching a trio of ties Oct. 8, 11 and 15. Harvard shut out Princeton and Dartmouth in its last two. The Crimson holds a goal differential of plus-11 with four shutouts over the 10-game unbeaten stretch.
The Crimson's last unbeaten streak of at least 10 games came from Sept. 13-Nov. 9, 2013, when the Crimson closed the season on a 14-game unbeaten streak.
Player of the Week
Senior Rachel Garcia was named the Ivy League Co-Player of the Week for Oct. 24-30. The award was Garcia's second in the last three weeks, and Harvard's third-consecutive player of the week award.
Garcia registered a goal and an assist in a 2-0 victory at Dartmouth, helping the Crimson climb to first place in the Ivy League standings. The Duluth, Georgia native scored the game-winner with a header in the 37th minute before assisting Margaret Purce's goal in the 63rd.
Harvard is 9-3-3 in 2016, including a 4-0-2 mark in Ivy League play. Margaret Purce leads the team and the Ivy League with 11 goals and 26 points, while senior Rachel Garcia has pitched in five goals and four helpers. Lizzie Durack has spent the most time in goal, making 33 saves, while Harvard has tallied seven shutouts on the season.
On the National Leaderboard
Senior Margaret Purce is one of the country's most-dangerous goal scorers, and she ranks 21st nationally in goals per game (0.73) with 11 total scores. Additionally, Purce is 13th nationally on the active career goals list, with 41, and she ranks fourth in the country in shots per game (5.27).
The Lions are 7-5-4 on the season, including a 4-1-1 mark in Ivy League play. Emma Anderson leads the Columbia offense with five goals and 13 points, while Natalie Neshat and Madeline Linde have contributed four goals and two assists apiece. Between the posts, Allison Spencer and Sophie Whitehouse have combined for eight shutouts and seven victories
The Crimson holds a 26-3-1 lead over Columbia in the all-time series, including wins in each of the last eight meetings.
Climbing the Ladder
Senior Margaret Purce sits third in program history with 40 goals, recently passing Naomi Miller '99 and Emily Stauffer '98-99 on the list. Goalkeeper Lizzie Durack, meanwhile, is 10th on the all-time career saves list.
1. Kelly Landry '85 - 68
2. Sue St. Louis '81-83 – 65
3. Margaret Purce '17 – 41
1. Tracee Whitley '88 – 424
9. Ann Diamond '84 – 138
10. Lizzie Durack '17 - 130
At the Helm
Chris Hamblin was introduced as the Branca Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Soccer in March. Hamblin was previously an assistant coach at Harvard, where he helped lead the Crimson to three Ivy titles with 13 All-Ivy League first team selections.
Lizzie Durack and Margaret Purce were named to the U-23 national teams for England and the United States, respectively, for the Nordic Cup in June. Durack led her team to a victory in penalty kicks over the United States in the tournament's final contest, but Purce and the Americans won the tournament on goal differential.
Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a fourth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Digital Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. The #ILDN is also available on Apple TV and Roku. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.
Home Field Advantage
Since the start of the 2013 season, Harvard boasts a 17-8-6 record in Cambridge. Harvard is 4-1-2 at home in 2016 with four shutouts.
Class of 2020
In May, Chris Hamblin announced six members of the class of 2020: Zoe Aigberomwan-Isibor, Maggie Basta, Kimaya Cole, Kat Hess, Lauren Spohn and Meg Tveit. The group joins the Crimson from four states across the country.
Full release: Women's Soccer Announces Class of 2020
Keep an Eye Out
For the third-straight season, senior Margaret Purce was named to the MAC Hermann Trophy watch list, which is presented annually to the nation's top player. Purce has led the Crimson in scoring during each of her three seasons in Cambridge.
With a win or draw, the Crimson will secure a berth to the 2016 NCAA Tournament. The women's soccer selection show is set for 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7. The announcement will be made live and for free on NCAA.com.