Women’s Soccer Thumps Villanova, 3-0

Purce scored twice to lead the Crimson attack (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Returning home for the first time in nearly three weeks, Harvard women's soccer scored a trio of goals en route to shutting out Villanova, 3-0, on Sunday at Ohiri Field. Harvard improved to 5-3 with the win, while Villanova dropped to 2-7.

Senior Margaret Purce found the back of the net twice to lead the Crimson offense, while also providing an assist on a goal from sophomore Leah Mohammadi. Seniors Bailey Gary and Karly Zlatic also tallied helpers in the game, while freshman Kat Hess and senior Lizzie Durack combined for the shutout in goal.

Harvard tallied the first four shots of the game, including an attempt from Joan Fleischman the ricocheted onto the post in the 10th minute. Creating numerous chances in the opening period, Purce finally put Harvard on the board, 1-0, in the 42nd minute after Gary's cross met the head of Zlatic, who redirected the ball across the face of the goal where Purce was able to finish. The assist was the first of the year for both players.

In the first minute of the second half, Mohammadi took a cross from Purce and fired a one-time shot that hit a Wildcat defender and went into the net. The score was her second of the season, while Purce tallied her second assist.

Earning a free kick in the 66th minute following a foul at the top of the box, Purce capped the game's scoring with a rocket right below the crossbar. The score was her seventh of the season and 37th of her career, which ties her for third on the all-time Harvard career goals list.

Harvard women's soccer opens Ivy League play at Penn on Saturday, Sept. 24. The 4 p.m. kickoff will be broadcast on ESPN3 and the Ivy League Digital Network.