After facing top-20 teams for three consecutive weeks and dropping four straight games, the women’s soccer team ended the losing streak this weekend.
The Elis (2–4–1) capped their final weekend of non-conference play by topping Sacred Heart 4–0 Friday night and tying Syracuse 1–1 in double overtime Sunday afternoon at Reese Stadium.
Sunday’s game marked Yale’s first time facing Big East foe Syracuse (4–3–3) — a squad known for its tough, aggressive style of play.
“It was like a constant foul the whole game,” team captain and forward Becky Brown ’11 said. “I think we played through it, but it was difficult and frustrating.”
Syracuse seemed to control possession for roughly the first twenty minutes, but then play evened out.
Syracuse forward Brielle Heitman had a close attempt in the 32nd minute, her breakaway shot rolling just wide. But five minutes later, the Bulldogs started the night’s scoring. Midfielder Enma Mullo ’12 found the back of the net on a penalty kick after forward Mary Kubiuk ’13 was taken down in the box.
The penalty kick was the sixth Syracuse has given up this season.
Kubiuk almost capitalized in the 39th minute after dribbling along the left wing, pivoting, and drilling a shot over the net from inside the goal box. Mullo came up big again, this time on defense, when she cleared a shot taken by Syracuse defender Taylor Chamberlain after it bypassed goalkeeper Ayana Sumiyasu ’11 with three minutes left in the half.
Yale seemed resolved to hold its lead after halftime. The Elis repeatedly beat Syracuse to the ball and fired off a series of shots on the Orange, and largely kept play in their opponents’ defensive zone.
Brown had one of Yale’s best opportunities to widen its lead in the 78th minute. The forward intercepted a goal kick and charged the net, but crossed the ball rather than shooting — letting goalkeeper Erin Quinlan break up the play.
Then with less than 10 minutes on the clock, Syracuse finally found an opening. Midfielder Rosina Callisto’s shot hit the inside of the post and rolled across the goal line to teammate Patricia Lind, who tapped in the ball from point-blank range, to tie the game at 1–1.
“We had one little minimal lapse late in the game and they capitalized on it,” head coach Rudy Meredith said.
Defender Anna McCahon ’14 said there was some confusion and miscommunication about whether Lind was offsides at the time, but added that Syracuse played to its strengths to notch the goal.
“They played it in the air and they made a good run out wide,” McCahon said. “You can never count on it being offsides.”
The second half expired shortly after Syracuse evened things up, sending the game into overtime.
Neither side scored in the first ten-minute overtime, though Yale outshot the Orange 3–2.
Syracuse upped its pressure in the second overtime session. Sumiyasu made a diving save three minutes in, knocking away a shot taken by Lind on the right.
Play halted 36 seconds later when midfielder Megan Ashforth ’11 went down and had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Meredith said he “heard something pop” and that she will likely miss the rest of the season.
Syracuse recorded two more shots — both saved by Sumiyasu — after the game resumed, but both teams were unable to score.
“We had a couple almost-chances, but [Syracuse] played pretty good defense,” Meredith said.
Yale saw a better outcome against Sacred Heart (4-3-2) on Friday. The Bulldogs, who held an 8–0 all-time record against Sacred Heart entering the match, had little trouble extending the tally to 9–0.
“It was a win,” Meredith said. “I thought we played pretty well and all the hard scheduling paid off.”
The Blue and the Pioneers battled for possession — neither side definitely taking control of the ball — until forward Miyuki Hino ’12 opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Brown carried the ball up the field and crossed to a wide-open Hino at the edge of the penalty box, who tapped in a shot to put Yale ahead 1–0.
Mullo almost capitalized again two minutes later when she blasted a feed from Hino over the top of the net.
Another twenty minutes of back-and-forth play passed without either side hitting the back of the net, but forward Natalie Romine ’11 snapped the scoreless stretch at 33:10 when she knocked in a rebound from a shot taken by midfielder Juliann Jeffrey ’14.
Forward Kristen Forster ’13 added another goal 39 seconds later to make it 3–0 with roughly 11 minutes remaining in the period.
Yale outshot Sacred Heart 12–1 in the first half, and recorded a 4–0 advantage in corner kicks.
Less than five minutes into the second half, Ashforth notched the Elis’ fourth and final goal when she deflected in a direct kick taken by Mullo on the right post.
The Pioneers seemed to pick up their pace after Yale took a 4–0 lead. Sacred Heart had a particularly good chance to score in the 58th minute when forward Samantha Kee’s diving header from the center of the box went just wide.
Sacred Heart continued to pressure Yale — at some points outhustling the home team to the ball — but was unable to capitalize throughout the half. Each team tallied six shots in the second period.
Yale begins Ivy League play at home against Princeton on Saturday.