After beating Penn last week in Philadelphia while Harvard simultaneously fell to Princeton, the Yale women’s soccer team is back on top. Now the Bulldogs just have to stay there.
The Elis (7–6–1, 4–1 Ivy) will travel to New York today to take on conference opponent Columbia and continue their bid for the league championship.
With two games left to play, the final stretch of the season has rapidly opened up into a race between the Elis and archrival Harvard for the Ancient Eight title.
“We know that we control our own destiny, that it’s in our hands,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “We just have to win two games and hope that Harvard loses to win the title. We can at least be co-champions, which would be the case if they didn’t lose.”
Today Yale faces the first of two remaining league challenges in the fourth-place Lions (6–6–3, 2–2–1), who most recently suffered a 2–0 loss against Dartmouth.
Despite an average record, Columbia holds the conference’s best player in midfielder Sophie Reiser, Meredith said.
“She was voted the best player in the league last year,” Meredith said. “She’s a goal scorer, she’s a playmaker, so you have got to be concerned about her all the time.”
But the Elis also boast formidable playmakers. Forward Becky Brown ’11 — who leads the team with 12 goals this season, second in the Ivies, and 28 points — tallied her 12th goal in last weekend’s 2–1 win over Penn. And forward Kristen Forster ’13 earned her second career goal and team-leading eighth assist in the Penn contest.
While the Bulldogs currently top the conference standings, the road to success has not been an easy one for the squad, especially as Yale’s squad has remained riddled by injuries for the past few weeks.
Meredith noted that his team had only 16 healthy field players for last weekend’s match. He hopes the bench will deepen today with midfielder Enma Mullo ’12 back in action against Columbia.
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Columbia Soccer Stadium.