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September 2, 2014

Women's Soccer Season Kicks Off on Friday

Photo courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications

PRINCETON, N.J. -- On Friday, Sept. 5, the Ancient Eight will kick off the 37th season of Ivy League women's soccer with all eight teams in action.

Cornell will travel to UMass at 4 p.m., while Dartmouth will face No. 14 Portland at 6 p.m. as part of the Husky/Nike Invitational in Seattle. At 7 p.m., Brown is at St. John's, Penn is at Mount St. Mary's and Columbia, Harvard and Princeton are at home against Sacred Heart, San Francisco and Rutgers, respectively. Finally at 7:30 p.m., Yale will host its nearby rival Quinnipiac.

The Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN) will kick off its second year with a free viewing weekend beginning this Friday. Six women's soccer games will be on the network during that time frame.

Harvard (12-4-2) is the defending Ivy champion, thanks to its 7-0-0 mark a season ago. The Crimson returns the 2013 League Offensive Player and Rookie of the Year in sophomore Midge Purce, who finished with 28 points on 11 goals and four assists last year.

Penn placed second with a 5-1-1 Ivy mark, finishing 12-1-4 overall. The Quakers set a program record for fewest losses and allowed just eight goals while recording 12 shutouts. Junior Caroline Dwyer, the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year, joined Purce on the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List. The two were also named second-team Preseason All-America by TopDrawerSoccer.com.

Columbia (8-6-3, 1-4-2 Ivy) and Dartmouth (8-6-3, 4-3-0 Ivy) will open the Tracey Bartholomew and Ron Rainey eras, respectively. Princeton (7-6-4, 1-5-1 Ivy), which went undefeated and untied in League play in 2012, will play its final season under head coach Julie Shackford, who is retiring after the year. Brown (10-6-1, 4-2-1 Ivy) will be led by senior defender Annie Gillen, who earned second-team All-Ivy honors in 2013, while Cornell returns senior Claire MacManus, who was also named to the All-Ivy second team. Yale brings back a pair of first-team All-Ivy performers from a year ago in seniors Melissa Gavin and Meredith Speck.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
Friday, September 5
Cornell at UMass, 4 pm
1-Dartmouth at No. 14 Portland, 6 pm
San Francisco at Harvard, 7 pm [ILDN]
Brown at St. John's (N.Y.), 7 pm
Penn at Mount St. Mary's, 7 pm
Sacred Heart at Columbia, 7 pm [ILDN]
Rutgers at Princeton, 7 pm [ILDN]
Quinnipiac at Yale, 7:30 pm [ILDN]

Sunday, September 7
Harvard at Providence, 1 pm
Delaware at Brown, 1 pm [ILDN]
Columbia at Army, 1 pm
Cornell at Marist, 1 pm
Old Dominion at Penn, 2 pm [ILDN]
1-Dartmouth at Washington, 7 pm

KEY:
1-Husky/Nike Invitational
ILDN-Streamed live on The Ivy League Digital Network