The Yale women’s soccer team might have had a bad day on Thursday, but the Elis will look to bring a higher level of play to this weekend’s competition against Ivy League opponent Cornell.
Coming off a 4–1 loss on the road against Holy Cross, the Yale women’s soccer team (7–4, 2–0 Ivy League) will try to pick up the pieces when the Elis return to Reese Stadium for a 4:30 p.m. kickoff against the Big Red (1–9–1, 0–3) on Saturday.
The Bulldogs are currently one of four teams atop the Ancient Eight standings — tied for first with Harvard (2–0), Dartmouth (2–1) and Columbia (2–1).
Cornell has yet to collect its first conference win. But Eli head coach Rudy Meredith said that statistic is deceiving.
“They’ve been competitive in every single game,” Meredith said of the Big Red. “They were 0–0 at halftime with Harvard last weekend, and they lost 2–1 to Penn and 1–0 to Columbia, so all their games have been very close.”
Cornell leads the all-time series with Yale 14–13–0, but the Bulldogs have come out on top in the past two contests. Last year the Bulldogs tallied a 3–1 win on their opponent’s home turf.
With first-place conference status riding on the outcome of this weekend’s match, Yale will need to be on top of its game. The Elis were running a four-game win streak before they lost to Holy Cross Wednesday and will aim to recapture this positive momentum against Cornell.
“We were pretty sluggish, it seems that collectively that we did not play our best [against Holy Cross], so hopefully we’ve gotten all of that out of our system,” defender Hannah Smith ’10 said. “Cornell is much bigger and much stronger, and they have to win this weekend because they have not won a game in the Ivies yet.”
The Bulldogs are also still somewhat banged up, as the team continues to cope with numerous hurt and recovering players.
Meredith said the team is currently dealing with a pulled hamstring in addition to a foot, a knee and two ankle injuries.
But despite those health problems, the Elis have managed to tally an impressive four wins in their past five matches, with younger players stepping up to fill the lineup gaps and veterans continuing to contribute.
Forward Becky Brown ’11 has tallied a team-leading 10 goals so far this season, while forward Kristen Forster ’13 tops the team with six assists.
Meredith said he hopes the weekend’s match will put his team back on track after the Holy Cross game.
“We have a game that could put us in first place in the league, and that’s the attitude that we have to have,” Meredith said. “If we want to win the league, we have to win this game.”