NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Harvard used a very fast start to earn an important Ivy League victory over Yale.
The Crimson scored three goals in the first 5 minutes, 11 seconds en route to a 4-0 victory on a chilly afternoon at Reese Stadium.
The Harvard player who did most of the damage wasn’t a surprise. Margaret Purce, a two-time first team All-Ivy selection and the 2013 league player and rookie of the Year, had two of the early three goals and then completed the hat trick early in the second half.
Purce’s first goal came when she controlled a long pass from Bailey Gary and rocketed a shot into the top corner from the right side of the box at 1:25.
Less than two minutes later, the Crimson were the beneficiaries of some good fortune when Yale was called for a hand ball just inside the box. The play wasn’t in a dangerous area, but the result was a penalty kick. Goalkeeper Rachel Ames made a terrific diving save on the initial shot, then stopped a second shot before Gary finally banged home the rebound at 3:20.
Purce capped the early barrage when she was able to get behind a Yale defender and fire a quick shot into the corner at 5:11.
“They made us pay for every mistake,” said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith.
Still, Yale battled the rest of the way. The Bulldogs’ best chance to score came midway through the second half when they were awarded a penalty kick midway through the second half. Harvard goalkeeper Lizzie Durack, though, guessed right and smothered Fran Steele’s attempt.
Durack finished with two saves to post the shutout.
Ames made seven saves for the Bulldogs (3-5-2, 0-2 Ivy).
Harvard, the two-time defending Ivy League champions, outshot Yale 21-4.
The Bulldogs are back at home next Saturday when they host Dartmouth at 7 p.m. Yale was originally scheduled to host Hampton on Monday night but that game was cancelled.