Two early Massachusetts goals doomed the Harvard women’s soccer team, as the Crimson left Amherst with a 2-0 defeat late Sunday afternoon. The two scores came last than a minute apart and provided the only offense UMass would need against a Harvard offense that only registered three shots on goal.
The Minutemen (3-3-2) extended their win streak to three while the Crimson’s scoring woes continued, as it was the fourth time Harvard (2-5-1) has been shut out in a loss this season.
Forward Alyssa Fratarcangeli got UMass on the board in the game’s 18th minute, and midfielders Daniela Alvarez and Julia Weithofer picked up assists. Fifty-five seconds later, the Minutemen doubled their lead when junior forward Megan Burke beat Crimson freshman goalkeeper Danielle Etzel for her second tally of the year.
UMass was able to maintain the offensive intensity it has been playing with of late. After tallying only one goal in its first five games, the Minutemen have scored six in its last three contests.
The UMass defense has been equally as impressive during the stretch. The team has not allowed a goal since Sept. 6 against Yale, a scoreless streak that has reached almost 263 minutes. It was the last nonconference game before Atlantic 10 play begins for the Minutemen a week from Thursday. UMass posted a 2-1 record in its three matches against Ivy League opponents.
Harvard was unable to penetrate the Minutemen’s defense and was held in check for most of the game. Despite scoring two goals against New Hampshire on Thursday, the Crimson has only tallied three goals in its last six games. Junior forward Midge Purce, the team leader in goals after scoring her second goal of the campaign on Thursday, led the Harvard offensive attack with four shots, including one on goal. Sophomore midfielder Dani Stollar and senior forward Emily Mosbacher managed Harvard’s other two shots on net.
The contest was the Crimson’s fourth-consecutive road loss and was the team’s final road nonconference game before opening up Ivy League play.
Once again, Harvard was able to utilize its depth against UMass, but it ultimately did not result in any goals. Nineteen different players logged minutes for the Crimson, including Etzel, who was making her first career start for Harvard. The freshman made two saves in what was her second collegiate appearance. Junior defender Bailey Gray and Stollar were the only other Crimson players to play the entire game.
For Harvard coach Ray Leone, it was the first time one of his teams has lost to the Minutemen. Leone had been 3-0-1, including a 2-0 mark in Amherst, against UMass entering Sunday. It was also the first time the Minutemen have defeated the Crimson since January of 1995.
—Staff writer Stephen J. Gleason can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.