CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After claiming the Ivy League title in a 2-1 double-overtime thriller with Columbia on Saturday, Harvard women's soccer will face Rutgers in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. The contest will be played at Yurcack Field on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 5 p.m.
The Crimson put together a 10-3-3 campaign during the regular season, including a 5-0-2 mark in Ivy League play. Harvard is unbeaten over its last 11 games, going 8-0-3 over the stretch with a plus-12 goal differential. The team has faced one squad in this year's tournament field, falling to then-No. 10 Connecticut, 3-1.
The berth marks the 16th appearance in program history, with Harvard tallying nine wins in those games. The Crimson has advanced to the national quarterfinals three times, most recently in 2000, and last triumphed in an NCAA Tournament matchup in 2014 with a 6-0 victory over Central Connecticut State.
Individually, senior Margaret Purce leads the team and the Ivy League with 12 goals and 28 points, while classmate Rachel Garcia has pitched in six goals and 17 points of her own. The duo combined for five Ivy League Player of the Week Awards, while senior Karly Zlatic (three goals, seven points) received the award once from the conference office.
The Crimson defense was the best in the Ancient Eight, allowing only three goals during conference play with four shutouts. Senior Lizzie Durack has appeared in 13 games between the posts, sporting a 0.78 goals-against average and .804 save percentage.
Harvard's opening round opponent, Rutgers, posted a 11-4-6 overall record, en route to a seventh-place regular season finish in the Big Ten at 4-2-5. The Scarlet Knights are led by Madison Tiernan with 9 goals and 24 points, while Alana Jimenez has posted a 0.76 goals-against average on the season. This will be the first meeting between Rutgers and Harvard in program history. Both teams played against three similar opponents this season (Connecticut, Providence, Cornell) with Rutgers tallying a 2-0-1 record, and Harvard going 1-1-1.
The winner of the Harvard-Rutgers showdown will meet the victor of Georgetown and St. Francis in the second round at a host site to be determined.
A full game preview and notes will follow later in the week. For information on tickets, please visit ScarletKnights.com.