W. SOCCER: Elis overcoming injuries

The Yale women’s soccer team is finally hitting its stride.

After earning a 3–0 victory against Central Connecticut State Monday, the Elis (6–3, 1–0 Ivy) will look to extend their three-game win streak when they host Dartmouth (5–4, 2–0 Ivy) today with a 7 p.m. kickoff at Reese Stadium.

The Big Green currently leads the conference standings after winning matches against both Princeton and Brown.

“They are probably the hardest working team in the league,” head coach Rudy Meredith said of Dartmouth’s squad. “We just have to match their work ethic. They are very direct and very attacking-minded.”

Meredith also noted that Dartmouth notched a 1–0 win over then top-20 team West Virginia earlier in the season.

Yale is not far behind the Big Green: the Elis are one of five teams tied for second in the Ivy League. Harvard, Penn, Columbia, and Brown also have one conference win apiece.

After beating Princeton 2–0 Sept. 26, the Bulldogs took on Harvard last weekend only to have the game postponed to Oct. 20 following a scoreless first half and a 90-minute rain delay.

While Dartmouth leads the all-time series with Yale, 17–15–2, the Elis won the 2008 contest against Dartmouth 2–0 in Hanover. And the Bulldogs have home-field advantage for this year’s match — they are currently 5–2 at home so far this season.

Still, not everything has worked in Yale’s favor for the upcoming game. The Bulldog team remains plagued by injuries ranging from ankle problems to foot issues, to a pulled hamstring. Other players, while back in the normal lineup, are continuing to recover and work back to full strength.

“We have a couple kids that aren’t a hundred percent,” Meredith said. “We’ll make the final decision on some players during warmups, but some other players are going to have to step up and play more than they normally do.”

The injuries are spread across the team, Meredith said — a few offenders and a few defenders.

But even numerous ailments have not yet managed to put a dent in the Yale squad’s success over the past few games. The team three-game win streak, capped by this Monday’s close 3–2 victory over Central Connecticut State, was Yale’s first win this season to not come in shutout form. The Bulldogs have blanked five opponents to date, an accomplishment Meredith believes has boosted the team’s confidence.

“It’s easier to win games when you have shutouts,” Meredith said. “I think if we defend well, it gives us the confidence to get up on the attack.”

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