Crimson Draws BU for Tourney

Winners of the Ivy League, meet the five-time defending champions of the America East for the second time this season.

After watching the NCAA Selection Show at the Murr Center together, the players of the Harvard women’s soccer team learned Monday that they will face the Boston University Terriers in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The matchup is currently scheduled for this Saturday  at noon.

The first round will take place at BU’s Nickerson Field, where the Terriers have not lost since Sept. 4, 2010.

“We both have had really, really strong seasons,” Crimson coach Ray Leone said. “We knew we were going to play someone locally because that’s just the way the NCAA works. I think it’s going to be a great game, and we’ll see what happens.”

Harvard concluded conference play undefeated (6-0-1) with an overall record of 12-4-1, the first time since 1999 that the team finished with 12 wins. Boston University finished without a blemish in the America East, going 8-0 and 18-2-1 overall.

The two teams last met on Sept. 14, with the Terriers shutting out the Crimson, 3-0, at the same venue of this week’s first-round contest.

The two teams were still in very early stages of their seasons, with Leone using 24 players in the losing effort, while his BU counterpart used 23.

“It was a real game, it was all-out,” Leone said. “BU flat out beat us. They were excellent.”

The Crimson loss came at a time when Harvard was enjoying a three-game winning streak, including two 2-1 victories over Connecticut and Massachusetts.

The Huskies and the Minutewomen had beaten the Terriers before Harvard and BU met.

Both teams have a come a long way since the early-season matchup, and each squads will certainly come into the first-round contest putting everything on the line in order to extend their campaigns.

“We’re just going to have to play our style of soccer and try and keep the ball better than we did the last time, that’s for sure,” Leone said. “It’s going to be a tough challenge.”

—Staff writer Brian Campos can be reached at bcampos@fas.harvard.edu.

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