In last season’s Ivy League opener against Princeton, midfielder Kristen Forster ’13 scored a last-minute, game-tying goal, only to see it nullified by an offside call.
Forster scored again in this year’s Ivy opener against Princeton. But this time her goal not only stood – it also proved to be the game-winner.
Forster’s goal in the 56th minute, coupled with an insurance goal from forward Melissa Gavin ’15 just 36 seconds later, lifted the Bulldogs (4–3–2, 1-0 Ivy) to a 2–0 victory over Princeton (1–6–1, 0-1 Ivy) on Saturday at the Tigers’ Roberts Stadium.
“Last year it was really unfortunate that the call didn’t go our way,” Forster said. “I wasn’t really thinking about that during the game today. It was just really exciting to put the ball in the back of the net.”
Goalkeeper Adele Jackson-Gibson ’13 made six saves to earn the win. It was the fourth shutout of the season for the Bulldogs, matching their total from all of last year.
The first half was tightly contested with both teams trading shots throughout the entire opening stanza.
Forward Jen Hoy was the biggest offensive threat for the Tigers and took five shots in the first half — three of which were on target — but she could not get any of them past Jackson-Gibson.
The Elis also generated their share of scoring chances and nearly capitalized in the 39th minute when midfielder Meredith Speck ’15 fired a shot that hit the crossbar.
Yale and Princeton both finished the first half with a total of six shots.
“I think the first half was really even,” midfielder Enma Mullo ’12 said. “Everyone on the field was just trying as hard as possible. They were coming at us, and then we would go at them.”
The Elis broke through 11 minutes into the second half with Forster’s goal. Forster took a cross from Mullo and dribbled past Princeton defenders in the box before slotting it into the corner of the net to give Yale a 1–0 advantage.
Thirty-six seconds later, the Bulldogs doubled their lead after Speck found Gavin on the left side, allowing her to fire a shot past Princeton netminder Claire Pinciaro for her third goal of the year.
“It was amazing,” Mullo said. “We were really focused on not letting them [score], and all of a sudden they were trying to come at us and their defense was wide open. We just took advantage of it.”
The Tigers could not recover from the two-goal deficit the rest of the way, giving the Elis their first road win the year. The visiting team has now won the last five meetings between the two rivals.
In addition to the Bulldogs, Harvard, Brown and Columbia also opened Ancient Eight competition with wins. Defending champions Penn fell to the Crimson.
“It’s a great way to start off the Ivy season,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “If you don’t win the first game you basically can’t make any mistakes the rest of the season. You’re already behind at least four other teams from the beginning, so at least we’re in the top half of the group right now. We don’t have to play catch-up.”
The Elis return to action on Saturday when they host archrival Harvard. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Reese Stadium.