As a disappointing season comes to a close, the women’s soccer team has a final shot to prove that they are better than their 2-3-1 record might attest.
Yale (7-7-2, 2-3-1 Ivy) will take on the Brown (9-3-4, 3-1-2) in Providence at 4 p.m. on Saturday in their last game of the season. The matchup pits two squads from the middle of the Ivy League pack against each other, as the third-place Bears host the fourth-place Elis in what will be the only November game for either program.
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Although the Bulldogs have not been thoroughly satisfied with the outcome of their season, the players still have plenty of fire left over for the season finale. The Elis crushed Quinnipiac by a three-goal margin this Wednesday, reeling off their first win since the beginning of October. The Bears, on the other hand, ended their five-game win streak last Saturday with a tie to Penn.
“It was nice to have a win to finish up at home,” forward Maggie Westfal ’09 said. “We would realistically like to come away with a win [against Brown] to show everyone that we are a strong team and we aren’t going away.”
In terms of goal-scoring ability, Brown has the Bulldogs’ number in 2006. The leaders in all eight individual offensive categories call Providence home, and this, coupled with the Bears’ total 35 goals, will keep the Eli defense busy. Yale has scored only 19 goals as a team, four coming from leader and forward Emma Whitfield ’09.
Despite the difference in offensive prowess between the two teams, there is a bit more parity on the defensive side of the ball. Both have held opponents to a shot percentage of about .110. Their goalkeepers are almost even in save percentage, and Yale even has the edge on Brown in number of shutouts. With these statistics in mind, the Elis will have to pick up the pace in offense in order to keep up with the Bears.
Even though Yale acknowledges problems with its play, because there is only one game left on the schedule, the squad is not putting too much emphasis on the negative aspects of the game and simply wants to put in a strong final effort.
“Attitude is the most important thing,” forward Mimi Macauley ’07 said, preparing for her final game in Bulldog blue. “We want to go out there and have fun, we’re playing for each other.”
This season the Bulldogs had to learn how to maintain a positive attitude in the face of problems that were often out of their power. They lost key players early in the season, including captain and midfielder Christina Huang ’07 and starting goalkeeper Chloe Beizer ’07. Although the team was getting wins during the preseason, they faltered in league play, losing three games and tying one, a notoriously dry stretch where the squad only mustered one goal in four games.
On Wednesday against Quinnipiac, the Elis scored four goals, reviving their dormant offense. They also allowed only one goal on eight shots. Looking forward to Saturday, the Bulldogs want to use the momentum they picked up in the win against the Bobcats to propel them in the Ocean State.
As they finally have a chance to reflect, the players are disappointed with the outcome of the season but want to go out on a high note.
“It’s a unique situation because were not really playing for the Ivy League title,” midfielder Emily Haddad ’08 said. “We are playing for pride. We want to work hard, play good soccer, play as a team and we want to win.”