PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania women's soccer team gave up a first-half penalty kick to Harvard, and the converted spot kick stood up as the Quakers fell to the Crimson, 1-0.
Harvard won its fourth in a row and improved to 6-3-0 overall, while Penn fell to 4-2-1. It was the Ivy opener for both clubs.
It marked just the second time Penn has lost an Ivy League home match in its last 20, dating back to the 2010 season. That other loss also came to Harvard, two years ago. Aside from the Crimson, Penn is 14-0-4 against Ancient Eight competition in Philadelphia.
In the 29th minute, a Penn defender was called for a foul right in front of the goal, giving Harvard a penalty kick. The senior, Midge Purce, made good by going to Kitty Qu's left side and beating the freshman.
Penn nearly equalized 10 minutes into the second half when Sasha Stephens turned on a shot at the top of the box that Harvard goalkeeper Lizzie Durack was forced to push over the crossbar.
That proved to be the Quakers' best opportunity on Saturday, as the Crimson defense remained stout to gain the clean sheet. Penn outshot Harvard on the day, 13-9, and Qu made four saves while Durack had three stops.
Penn is on the road for its next two matches, starting next Friday when the Quakers travel to Cornell for an Ivy League match with the Big Red. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.