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Harvard Holds Off Yale 3-1

Harvard Holds Off Yale 3-1

Gavin Scores For Bulldogs

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – For a stretch of the second half Saturday, it looked like the Yale women's soccer team might be on its way to another big comeback.

Trailing 2-0, Melissa Gavin curled a corner kick into the net 17 minutes in to pull the Bulldogs within one. Yale had a couple of opportunities to tie over the next few minutes, but couldn't capitalize.

Harvard's Margaret Purce then put an end to the Bulldogs' hopes when she scored with 6:08 left to cap a 3-1 win for the Crimson on a gorgeous afternoon at Reese Stadium.

"There was about a 15-minute stretch where we had control," said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith. "I was proud of the way we fought back."

It was a four-minute span of the first half that really doomed the Bulldogs.

Marie Margolius headed in a Peyton Johnson corner kick at 31:09 to give the Crimson a 1-0 lead.

Just 2:26 later, Harvard struck again. Meg Casscells-Hamby sent a ball forward to Karly Zlatic, who split two Yale defenders and snuck a shot inside the far post.

The Crimson (6-3-1, 2-0 Ivy) had a big edge in play in the opening 45 minutes, outshooting Yale 10-2.

"We were really out of rhythm in the first half," Meredith said. "In the second half, we started connecting on our passes and that led to some more offense."

After Gavin's goal, Yale's best chance came in the 65th minute. Paula Coxe sent a long ball forward to Geneva Decker, who made a couple of nifty moves and then found Gavin. Gavin got off a hard shot but Harvard goalkeeper Lizzie Durback smothered it.

The Bulldogs were continuing to apply good pressure when a tremendous individual effort from Purce sealed the win for the Crimson. She controlled the ball near midfield, weaved her way through Yale's defense and left-footed a shot inside the near post.

"I haven't seen too many goals like that in my time here," Meredith said.

Harvard finished with a 15-6 edge in shots. The Crimson also had an 8-4 advantage in corner kicks.

The Bulldogs (5-4, 1-1 Ivy) are back in action on Monday night when they play at Central Connecticut. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity