The women’s soccer team ended its season finale in dramatic fashion, scoring the game-winning goal with less than three minutes left on the clock to edge out Brown 2–1 at Providence on Saturday.
The Elis (8–8–1, 3–4 Ivy) handed the Bears (7–6–4, 1–4–2) their first home loss of the season, while giving their seniors one last win in their final appearance in the blue-and-white uniform.
“The senior class has been so amazing, and we wanted to get a win for them,” midfielder Enma Mullo ’12 said.
The game had been billed as a potentially close matchup because both Yale and Brown entered the contest tied for sixth place in the Ivy League. Though players agreed that it was a relatively tight game, captain Becky Brown ’11 said that she did not think either team played particularly well.
“I don’t think either of us played very well, to be honest,” she said. “I don’t think one team dominated more than the other team. It was pretty even. It was all over the place, basically.”
The Bulldogs notched the first goal of the contest in the ninth minute. Becky Brown took possession of the ball and sent it ahead to forward Kristen Forster ’13, who shot the ball from the middle of the box into the far corner of the net to give the Elis a 1–0 advantage. Yale was 7–0–1 after scoring the first goal of a game this season.
The Bears nearly knotted the contest eight minutes later, when Eliza Marshall’s header off a corner kick bounced off the crossbar.
But on Brown’s second corner kick, the Bears successfully scored an equalizer. Gina Walker headed the ball to teammate Sarah Hebert-Seropian, whose header shot found the back of the net to tie the match 1–1 at 23:04.
“I was ecstatic with our work ethic the entire game,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “We didn’t stop working when Brown scored on us. We kept fighting until the very end of the game.”
The Bears had a pair of header shots in the 59th and 74th minutes, but both attempts were stopped by goalie Ayana Sumiyasu ’11. Despite outshooting the Bulldogs 10–3 in the second half, Brown failed to take advantage of scoring opportunities.
The same could not be said for the Elis. With just 2:38 left in the matchup, Mullo found forward Mary Kubiuk ’13, who got past Brown goalkeeper MC Barrett and shot the ball into the left post for the game-winning goal.
It was a bittersweet win for the class of 2011, since the victory marked the end of the Yale careers of Megan Ashforth ’11, Brown, Kate Macauley ’11, Lizz Reeves ’11, Natalie Romine ’11 and Sumiyasu.
“I was really sad about it,” Brown said. “But I’ve had a great time here, a great career. I’ve enjoyed every single moment of it. So it’s sad that it’s coming to a conclusion, but I’m really happy about having the opportunity to play here.”
With the win, the Bulldogs took sole ownership of the sixth-place spot in the Ivy League. Though the team started off the season with a 1–4 record, it went on to win five of its last seven games to end the season with a .500 record. It is the ninth straight year in which the team has finished with at least a .500 overall record.
“We got a little bit unlucky with injuries,” Meredith said. “When we were healthy, we beat Penn State at the beginning of the season, and that team’s been at the top of the NCAA tournament. The team didn’t quit, people playing with injuries, people playing through injuries. They were a hardworking team that I was very proud of. They kept fighting throughout the season.”