Durack tied a season-high with seven saves (Penny Ashford).
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Bringing an end to a championship-winning season, Harvard women's soccer fell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 22 Rutgers, 3-0. The loss snapped an unbeaten streak of 11 games, which was the team's longest since the 2013 season.
Senior Lizzie Durack matched a season-high with seven saves for Harvard (10-4-3), which was making its 16th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Rutgers (12-4-6) outshot the Crimson by a 16-5 margin. Senior Margaret Purce tallied a team-high two shots, while senior Bailey Gary and sophomore Leah Mohammadi fired shots on goal.
"I thought we created some good chances, though we didn't have enough of the ball as I would have liked. Credit to Rutgers, they are a talented and well-coached team," said Chris Hamblin, the Branca Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Soccer. "In the NCAA Tournament you come up against great competition, and Rutgers is a very good team."
Rutgers struck first in the 26th minute when Madison Tiernan fired a shot into the lower left corner. Tiernan later extended the Scarlet Knights' lead to 2-0 with a goal in the 40th minute.
Purce nearly pulled a goal back before the halftime whistle, dribbling between a series of defenders before firing a shot that just missed the top left corner. Harvard tallied four shots in the second half, using a series of corner kicks to apply pressure to the Rutgers defense. Senior Joan Fleischman found Gary with a header from 12 yards, but Rutgers goalkeeper Alana Jimenez was able to dive and tip the ball over the crossbar.
Mohammadi found a through ball at her feet a few minutes later, but her shot was stopped by Jimenez. The Scarlet Knights added a third goal in the closing minutes from Taylor Aylmer to push the score to 3-0.
"I am so proud of the effort that our players have given all season, from the first day of preseason all the way until today," continued Hamblin. "This is a season they will remember for a very long time."
Harvard women's soccer finished the season with a 10-4-3 record, winning its third Ivy League championship in the past four seasons.