W. SOCCER | Elis prepare big plans for Big Red

The women’s soccer team will look to remain in the hunt for the Ivy League crown when it takes on Ancient Eight rival Cornell (2-9-1, 0-2-1 Ivy) this Saturday at Reese Stadium.

Yale (6-4-2, 2-1) currently stands in a four-way tie for second place in the conference rankings alongside Penn, Brown and Columbia and is just one point behind first-place Harvard.

The Elis have momentum going into the matchup after earning two consecutive victories against Dartmouth and Fairfield, despite losing their starting goalkeeper, Adele Jackson-Gibson ’13 to a dislocated shoulder in Saturday’s game. Yale rolled to a 4-1 win over the Big Green on Saturday before shutting out Fairfield, 2-0, on Tuesday night.

Freshman Elise Wilcox ’15 will take over as the Bulldogs’ starting keeper. Wilcox made her first career start in goal on Tuesday night against Fairfield and finished with five saves to earn her first win and shutout.

“She’s kind of realized that she’s the keeper now,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “She has to step up, and she’s been doing a pretty good job of that.”

The Bulldogs have allowed only one goal since Jackson-Gibson’s injury and have won five of their last seven games, outscoring opponents over the last two games seven to one.

Meredith added that because the injury to Jackson-Gibson has left the team with just one netminder on its roster, any female student with previous goaltending experience is welcome to try out for the team as a backup goalie.

“I think we have been playing a little bit better every game,” Meredith said. “The beginning of the season is always an adjustment period. I think we’ve kind of settled in, and we understand what type of team we are.”

Forward Melissa Gavin ’15, who was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week on Monday, leads the team with five goals this season. Midfielder Enma Mullo ’12 has added four goals and a team-high four assists for a total of 12 points this season.

Cornell is coming off a 2-2 tie against Harvard last Saturday. The Big Red was trailing the Crimson by a goal with 1:45 left on the clock when Cornell forward Maneesha Chitanvis scored to send the game into overtime. In the end, neither team could find the back of the net in the extra periods, ending the game in a draw.

Last year, Cornell defeated the Elis, 1-0, in Ithaca, N.Y. Though the Bulldogs outshot the Big Red 15-5 in the contest, Chitanvis scored the lone goal of the game in the first half to give Cornell the win.

“They play with a lot of emotion,” Meredith said. “They really play intense and hard, so we definitely have to match their intensity.”

Chitanvis has been the Big Red’s most dangerous offensive threat this year and has racked up a team-high five goals and 11 points.

Cornell goalkeepers Megan Bartlett and Kelly Murphy have split time in goal and have posted a 1.93 and 2.20 goals against average, respectively.

Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Reese Stadium.

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