It was more of a rugby match than a soccer game.
That’s what was on everyone’s minds as the women’s soccer team fought its way to a 2-0 win over Central Connecticut State University at Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium yesterday. Three CCSU players were forced to exit the game after sustaining injuries. In total, 21 fouls were given out — 11 to the Elis and 10 to the Blue Devils — and CCSU defender Tara O’Brien received a yellow card in the 73rd minute of play.
“I thought it was competitive,” CCSU head coach Mick D’Arcy said. “[But] as time went on, it became more of a physical battle than a soccer game.”
But all the bumps and bruises were worth it for Yale. This latest victory brings the Bulldogs’ record to 5-0 on the season, setting the record for the best start in program history. The Elis posted 4-0 starts — the previous record — in both 1992 and 1998.
The contest was intensely physical, with both teams scrambling and jostling in attempts to gain control of the ball. Ultimately, it was Yale who outmuscled its opponent and dominated the game.
“Both teams battled,” Yale head coach Rudy Meredith said. “We found a way to play through the physicality. We tried to find a way to be patient and to play a passing game.”
The Bulldogs had no trouble taking advantage of the rough nature of the game and scored both of their goals off direct kicks.
The first goal of the game occurred in the 28th minute of play. Yale forward Jamie Ortega ’06 buried a 15-yard direct kick deep in the upper corner of the net, right over the head of CCSU goalkeeper Ashley Ferra.
Near the 73rd minute of the match, O’Brien received the only yellow card of the game after making a rough tackle on a Yale player just outside the 18 yard box. Midfielder Laurel Karnes ’06 took the ensuing direct kick and forward Alicia Fujii ’08 deflected the ball around the CCSU keeper to notch her first career goal at Yale.
CCSU co-captain Laura Duncan ’05 said she was unhappy with the game’s outcome.
“I don’t think the score completely reflects the game,” Duncan said. “[We] worked hard and we battled hard.”
The Elis have a couple of days to mend before they head out for their California roadtrip this weekend, where they will face Santa Clara and Stanford. The Bulldogs will be back in action at Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium on September 24, when they take on Princeton in the Elis’ Ivy opener.