W. SOCCER | Bulldogs take on top ranked Columbia

The women’s soccer team will play its final home game of the season in a league matchup against Columbia this Saturday at Reese Stadium.

Yale and Columbia both enter the contest coming off losses over the weekend. Last Saturday the Lions (9–3–3, 3–1–1 Ivy) lost to Dartmouth 1–2, while the Bulldogs (6–8–1, 1–4 Ivy) fell 0–1 to Penn.

The Bulldogs’ last and only league win this season came on Oct. 9, when they defeated Dartmouth 3–1. Since then, the team has dropped two straight league matches to Cornell and Penn, both by just one point. And it will not get any easier against Columbia, who is currently tied with Penn for the top spot in the Ivy League. One of the biggest obstacles the Elis face on Saturday will be getting past Columbia goalie Lillian Klein, who sports a league-best 0.67 goals against average this season.

“From what I can see this year, Columbia hasn’t given up a lot of goals, so they’ve been doing a pretty good job defensively,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “We’re going to have to try to find a way to open up their defense and try to create some goal-scoring opportunities against them.”

Recently, the Elis have struggled to find the back of the net in conference games. The team has been shut out in its last two league games against Cornell and Penn. In preparation for the matchup, the team has spent the majority of practices working on the offensive side of the game.

“The highest priority for us will be to see what we can do offensively,” Meredith said. “Our defense has been doing a pretty good job, and our goalie has been doing a great job, so I think the issue now is we have to score.”

Saturday will also be Senior Night for the class of 2011. Prior to the game, the team will recognize seniors Megan Ashforth ’11, Becky Brown ’11, Kate Macauley ’11, Lizz Reeves ’11, Natalie Romine ’11 and Ayana Sumiyasu ’11. Meredith said his goal is to give all the seniors some playing time so they can have one last opportunity to play on their home field.

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Reese Stadium on Saturday.

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