The women’s soccer team can play only one goalkeeper in the net at a time, but head coach Rudy Meredith has had two talented goalies to choose from: goalkeepers Rachel Ames ’16 and Elise Wilcox ’15 have split duties in goal this season. Ames has appeared in eight games with five starts for the Bulldogs, while Wilcox has played in seven contests with four starts to her name. The News interviewed the two goalies separately to get their takes on sharing the net.
Q: What is it like to share the goal with Elise? Do you two have a routine (one always plays first half, the other the second, etc.)?
AMES: Elise and I don’t have a routine because Rudy picks who plays. We never know who is going to play until he tells us the starting lineup right before the game.
WILCOX: It’s great to play with Rachel. Even though we are both very competitive we get along really well and support each other. It’s nice to have someone who understands the unique challenges goalies face and who can encourage you to play at your best. We don’t have a routine at all. Usually we don’t know who is going to play until Coach Meredith announces the lineup right before warm-up. And if you’re playing the second half you might not know until a few minutes before the end of the first. As a result you always have to be mentally and physically ready for every game.
Q: Is there any (friendly) rivalry between the two of you?
AMES: There is always competition between myself and Elise, however it pushes us to be better and reach new levels.
WILCOX: There definitely is. We’re both very competitive or we wouldn’t be playing at this level. We’re closely matched so it really pushes you to work as hard as you can. The competition makes us both better and at the end of the day that’s what’s best for the team. At the end of the day though, we’re there for each other. I can say from experience that it’s really important to get along with the other goalies on the team.
Q: What are the pros and cons of sharing the position?
AMES: Sharing the position allows us both to get game experience and playing time. It also makes us fight for the starting spot.
WILCOX: The pros are that we push each other to do our best. We’re constantly ready to play which means that if one of us got hurt or sick, the other goalie could step in and play a solid game. The cons are that is it a little bit of a mental struggle, especially when you don’t know when or if you’re going to play on a given day. That and we clearly both want to play as much as possible.
Q: How long have you been playing soccer? Have you always played goalie?
AMES: I’ve played since I was three, so 16 years. I used to play forward and goalie but chose to only play goalie in like middle school.
WILCOX: I’ve been playing soccer since I was five. I started playing really competitively when I was 10 and became a goalie around age 12.
Q: What’s been a highlight for you during your soccer career at Yale so far and/or this season?
AMES: The highlight of my career at Yale so far was the Cornell game last season. It was my first college shutout and we got the 1–0 win.
WILCOX: This year it would definitely be beating Princeton, which was done in a spectacular fashion. Even though I wasn’t on the field for that game, being part of the team when we came back twice to win in overtime was awesome. Overall, my favorite memories are from when we beat a team or I played really well against a team whose coaches either recruited someone else or who I turned down. I love to prove people wrong.