WOMEN’S SOCCER | Own goal dooms Bulldogs against Penn

Midfielder Kristen Forster ’13 had three of the Bulldogs five shots against Penn on Saturday, but neither Forster nor the rest of the Elis were able to find the net in Yale’s 1–0 loss.
Midfielder Kristen Forster ’13 had three of the Bulldogs five shots against Penn on Saturday, but neither Forster nor the rest of the Elis were able to find the net in Yale’s 1–0 loss. Photo by Maria Zepeda.

A header and a well-placed cross inside the six-yard box helped Penn to top the women’s soccer team 2–0 at home.

A week after picking up their first Ivy win at Cornell, the Bulldogs (6–7, 1–4 Ivy) dropped their conference game against the Quakers (8–5–1, 4–1 Ivy) at Reese Stadium Saturday evening. Penn’s quick attack caught the Elis off guard and gave the Quakers quality scoring opportunities, while the Bulldogs had trouble finishing on their chances inside the 18-yard box.

“We’re not creating enough chances to score,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “We’ve only scored two goals in [five] Ivy League games.”

Despite the Bulldog’s solid control of the ball and Penn’s slim 4–3 advantage in shots at halftime, Yale was unable to convert on any of its first-half chances. Meredith said an average of nine opportunities are needed to convert chances into any goal, but by the end of Saturday’s game, the Elis only had five shots.

But early in the game the Bulldogs showed strong scoring potential and were able to keep the ball in their offensive zone for much of the early going.

“The first 10 minutes we did a really good job creating opportunities,” captain and midfielder Jenny Butwin ’13 said. “But, it didn’t carry through the whole game.”

The Bulldogs won their first corner kick just three minutes into the game. A minute later, a precise cross from forward Anne Song ’13 connected with the head of a Yale attacker and zipped just over the crossbar.

At the 25-minute mark, a crisp cross slid between two Penn defenders up to midfielder Kristen Forster ’13 on the left side of the net, but she slipped the ball just outside of the right post.

But Yale’s offensive force dwindled as the minutes in the first half wound down, and the Quakers launched an explosive attack against the Eli defense at the beginning of the second half. With the pressure proving to be too much for the Bulldogs, the Quakers got a lucky bounce five minutes into the second half when a corner kick was inadvertently knocked into the net by a Yale defender.

The quick turn of events flipped the Bulldogs on their heads.

“You have to play differently [from behind] than when the game is 0–0.” Meredith said. “It’s harder to keep your composure and it’s frustrating for us to chase the game.”

The Quakers had another solid opportunity at the 65-minute mark when a pass split two Yale defenders, giving the Quakers a two-on-one opportunity. But goalkeeper Rachel Ames ’16 rushed up and beat both Penn attackers to the ball, breaking up the play.

Nonetheless, the Bulldogs could not fend off the growing momentum of the Penn attack forever.

Forward Clara Midgley chipped the ball past a Yale defender 79 minutes into the game, splitting Ames and another defender, which left an open ball for forward Kathryn Barth to tap for the Quaker’s second goal of the game.

In the end, Penn outshot Yale 13–5, and held a 9–2 advantage in shots on goal.

But the Elis suffered more than a loss on the scoreboard. During a defensive scramble with 10 minutes left in the first half, defender Christina Bradley ’16 was kicked in the face, chipping her mandible. Butwin said she may need oral surgery.

The game was part of a double-header series with the men’s soccer team against the Quakers. Yale soccer went 1–1 on the weekend with a 1–0 win from the men’s team.

The Bulldogs’ next game is next Saturday at 7 p.m. against Fairfield University at Reese Stadium.

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