CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Ending in jubilation after a golden-goal finish, Harvard women's soccer captured the Ivy League title with a 2-1 victory over Columbia in double overtime on Saturday afternoon at Jordan Field. The win secured an unbeaten season during conference play for the Crimson, which finished at 5-0-2 against Ancient Eight foes. The Ivy title is the Crimson's third in the past four seasons.
Seniors Rachel Garcia and Margaret Purce found the back of the net for the Crimson (10-3-3, 5-0-2 Ivy), their sixth and 12th of the season, respectively. Garcia also earned an assist for setting up Purce's goal, along with senior Bailey Gary, while senior Joan Fleischman played the ball to Garcia for the game-winning strike. In goal, senior Lizzie Durack made four saves for her eighth win of the season.
Harvard outshot the Lions (7-6-4, 4-2-1 Ivy) 25-11 on the afternoon, and went ahead in the eighth minute after Purce slotted her Ivy-leading 12th goal into the left side netting. Gary played a driven ball up the right side towards Garcia, who managed to flick the ball onto Purce for a breakaway, where she put Harvard ahead 1-0.
A corner kick goal knotted the score at 1-1 in the 23rd minute, as Columbia's Caroline Militello headed the ball into the back of the net off the cross from Natalie Ambrose.
Harvard tallied 12 shots in the second half, and came the closest to scoring in the final minutes after Purce found sophomore Zayne Matulis for a pair of attempts. Matulis' first shot was saved by the goalkeeper, and her rebound ricocheted off the left post and out of play. Deadlocked at 1-1, the game went to overtime.
Controlling possession, the Crimson managed five shots in the first overtime. After 10 scoreless minutes of extra time, it took Harvard just 75 seconds to score the golden goal in double overtime. Fleischman beat a defender on the left wing and crossed the ball to Garcia, who was able to take a touch and power a shot past the goalkeeper.
With the victory, Harvard extended its unbeaten streak to 11 games and earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014. The Crimson will learn its postseason matchup on Monday, Nov. 7 at 4:30 p.m. when NCAA.com streams the selection show. The broadcast will be free to view.