The women’s soccer team’s 2013 campaign kicked off with a bang Friday night at home as the Bulldogs put together a 1–0 nail-biter of a victory over Stony Brook.
Forward Melissa Gavin ’15 picked up right where she left off last season, scoring what turned out to be the only goal of the game in the 17th minute off of an assist from midfielder Frannie Coxe ’15. Two days later, the Elis followed up their opening performance with a 3–1 victory at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell to improve to 2–0–0.
A strong defensive effort on Friday held the Seawolves scoreless, and goalkeeper Rachel Ames ’16 recorded four saves to pick up the shutout. Stony Brook (4–1–1) nearly doubled Yale in shots, 15–8, but the teams were even with four shots on goal apiece.
Coach Rudy Meredith was pleased with the effort, especially considering the fact that Stony Brook had already been tested in earlier games this season.
“We had to battle the entire time even when we got tired,” Meredith said. “We stuck to the game plan as much as we could. We fought hard.”
To cap off the successful opening weekend, the Bulldogs defeated UMass-Lowell (0–4–0) in resounding fashion on Sunday.
The Coxe-to-Gavin connection worked once more against the River Hawks, this time in the 77th minute, making it two assists on the season for Coxe and two goals on the season for Gavin. The goal broke a 1–1 tie and gave Yale a lead it would not surrender.
But it was an unexpected source that sparked the Elis to victory on Sunday.
Midfielder Geny Decker ’17 came off the bench to contribute the first two goals of her college career. The first broke a scoreless battle as Decker connected off an assist from Gavin in the 18th minute. Decker found the back of the net for the second time in the 86th minute to give the Bulldogs a comfortable two-goal lead.
Decker, who was not at full strength due to a quad strain during the preseason, said she owed much of her success to her teammates.
“The team has been so welcoming and that’s really eased my transition so I can help make an immediate impact,” Decker said.
In net, Elise Wilcox ’15 took over goalkeeping duties and made some key saves in the victory against UMass. The River Hawks’ lone goal was scored by forward Taylor Packwood in the 25th minute.
The fine performances of both Yale goalies this weekend has left Meredith with a couple of well-deserving options for the starting job. He said he hopes to have a decision on a permanent starter before the start of the Ivy League portion of the schedule, which begins Sept. 28 at Princeton.
Yale will seek to improve upon its 2–0–0 mark this weekend as the team takes to the road to face No. 13 Georgetown (6–0–0) on Friday and Towson (3–2–1) on Sunday.
While the Bulldogs walked away from the weekend with two wins, there is much room for improvement in the eyes of Meredith.
“We are going to have to work on our one-on-one defending, and on limiting our giveaways,” Meredith said.
One thing to watch in particular this weekend will be the performance of midfielder Eliza Loring ’16, a transfer from Georgetown, as she takes on her former team.
Loring played in five games for Georgetown last year, scoring one goal. She has started both games thus far for Yale.