Purce tallied a pair of scores in the 3-0 victory. (Gil Talbot)
PHILADELPHIA – Sophomore Margaret Purce scored twice as the Harvard women's soccer team came away with a 3-0 victory at Penn's Rhodes Field Saturday night. With the thorough win, the Crimson moves to 6-2 (1-0 Ivy) after taking down the Quakers (3-2-2, 0-1 Ivy) in both sides' Ancient Eight opener.
Aside from Purce's two marks – the second time this season she has two goals in a game – Emily Mosbacher continued her hot streak, registering her third goal in the last two contests. Between the posts, Cheta Emba stood tall to earn the clean sheet blocking away a few crossing chances, though Penn never got a shot off on the senior.
Neither side got things going early, as both clubs combined for just four total shots in the first 45 minutes. The Crimson earned a quick corner with time dwindling, but Penn's Terilli Kalijah punched the cross out of the box as time expired.
Into the second half, Purce and the Crimson attack took over. In the 55th minute, the sophomore forward flew up solo from midfield, splitting three Penn defenders with her electric speed. Just before getting to the box, Purce was nearly tackled, but the ball ricocheted off her foot and skied over Kalijah's head for the score to break the Crimson through.
Mosbacher put the Crimson up 2-0 late in the game, thanks to Meg Casscells-Hamby's lengthy cross. Casscells-Hamby brought down a loose ball and sent a 40-plus-yard boot, right to where Mosbacher was standing 12 yards from the goal. Mosbacher then redirected a bending header into the upper 90, just out of reach of Kalijah's mitts.
With just under 20 minutes remaining, Purce struck again with an impressive show of speed and skill. After Alika Keene sent in a booming free kick from past midfield, Purce singlehandedly took control and beat the Penn defense. As the ball was heading out, Purce dribbled around a few Quaker shields, eventually scoring on the left side of the goal at the high near post to give the Crimson its winning 3-0 score.
Now 1-0 in Ivy League play, the Crimson is back in action on Monday with a nonconference showdown against UMass at 7 p.m.