Women’s soccer ties La Salle at home

Despite outshooting their opponents 25-10, the women’s soccer team emerged from Sunday’s game against La Salle with only a 1-1 tie.

After a slow first half, in which the Bulldogs concentrated on containing the Explorers’ powerhouse forwards, Yale’s offense came alive to earn a draw.

“We had the better opportunities,” goalie Lindsay Sabel ’03 said. “We played with more urgency in the second half.”

Midfielder Laurel Karnes ’06, scored the equalizer in the 61st minute, and though the Bulldogs maintained pressure throughout the remainder of regulation and two overtime periods, the winning goal was not to be found.

Karnes’ game-tying kick emerged from an offensive tangle in which Lauren Gillies ’03 and midfielder Eleni Benson ’05 managed to put the ball in Karnes’ range.

“I just concentrated really hard on keeping the ball down when it came to me,” Karnes said. “I was in the right place at the right time, right in the middle of the goal.”

But the Bulldogs were thwarted on several other opportunities in this lopsided game, in which Yale dominated La Salle’s defense on the extreme end of the field.

“[La Salle freshman goalkeeper Marisa Suarez] made a couple of unbelievable saves,” Yale assistant coach Fritz Rodriguez said.

Several times Suarez lept high to deflect solid Yale kicks from Gillies, midfielder Maureen Metzger ’05 and forward Chandra King ’03.

Alexis Petrucci put La Salle ahead early in the second half, capitalizing on a defensive miscommunication by the Bulldogs in the 47th minute.

“They were able to switch the ball with great ease, and that threw us off,” Karnes said.

But overall, Yale’s defense was impressive, with Benson shutting down La Salle forward Krista Lee. The five-foot nine-inch Lee led her team in assists last year and casts an imposing presence on the field.

“I’m not disappointed with our play,” Benson said. “We have more people who can score [than last year’s team] and a solid defense.”

Rodriguez said he does not think too many changes need to be implemented in Yale’s style of play, and that similar efforts will produce victories in future games.

The Bulldogs next face Sacred Heart at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Soccer/Lacrosse Stadium.

“If we play like we played today against Sacred Heart, we should have a positive result,” Rodriguez said.

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