Tag Archive: UPenn

  1. WOMEN’S SOCCER: Controversial call dashes title hopes

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    Despite more than an hour of quality play Saturday against one of the Ivy League’s best teams, a controversial call eliminated the Yale women’s soccer team from Ivy League championship contention Saturday.

    The Bulldogs (5–6–3, 1–3–1 Ivy) came into their matchup with Penn (8–3–2, 2–2–1) in the middle of the conference pack and in desperate need of a win to avoid relegation to the bottom of the league. After 78 minutes of scoreless competition, Penn finally broke through off a corner kick to take a 1–0 lead. Minutes later, the Elis thought they had tied the game after forward Aerial Chavarin ’20 found the back of the net — except the referee called the ball in possession of Quaker keeper, Kitty Qu. That agonizing moment spelled the end for Yale, which could not find the equalizer in the final moments, dropping the team out of contention for the Ancient Eight title.

    “You just feel bad for the kids,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “The players worked so hard to get the goal and to have it be taken away was very frustrating. There was a point where I thought I might get ejected I was so upset. I felt it was criminal for the kids. We will be fighting with the Ivy League offices going forward trying to get instant replay.”

    Before the game, the Bulldogs stood tied in fourth place in the Ivy League, knotted with four other squads. Despite facing daunting odds, the Elis were not yet mathematically precluded from claiming the conference crown. In addition to more than a little outside help, Yale needed to win its remaining three games, including Saturday afternoon’s clash with the Quakers.

    The first half featured little by the way of offense. Penn took just six shots — none of which were on target — and the Bulldogs only managed two. Against a Quaker squad that had on four occasions scored at least four goals, the Yale defense seemed to be holding its own. Moreover, the Bulldogs held fast on both first-period corner kicks, an area that had caused them trouble throughout the season. When the whistle blew and the teams trotted off to the locker rooms, the 0–0 score remained intact, and the Elis’ dreams of surviving another day did not seem so far-fetched.

    Once the second half commenced, both teams turned up the heat. The Bulldogs fired three shots in the first seven minutes, including a 51st-minute attempt from midfielder Geneva Decker ’17 that Qu tipped up and off the crossbar. The Quakers and Elis each exchanged shots until the final 15 minutes. In the 79th minute, Penn won a corner kick that found the waiting feet of midfielder Emily Sands, who launched a shot past Yale goalie Alyssa Fagel ’20 to break the deadlock.

    “I think sometimes we just lose focus [on set pieces],” captain and defender Colleen McCormack ’17 said. “They’re a natural pause in the game but not an excuse for a mental break. When you take one, you suffer the consequences.”

    Now down a goal, the Elis set out to right the ship in the waning moments of the game. With its season on the line, Yale turned to its leading goal scorer this season, Chavarin, for some last-minute heroics.

    At first, it appeared Chavarin had answered the call. After Qu blocked her shot, she seemingly dribbled the loose ball into the back of the net. However, the referee waived off the goal in debatable fashion.

    “Sarah [McCauley ’18] played a beautiful ball to me, and I trapped it and tried to chip it,” Chavarin said. “[Qu] got her hands on it and hit it against the post. The ball was free, and I ran after it and scored, but the ref said the ball was in her hands [before I kicked it]. It was really disappointing.”

    Meredith erupted on the sideline, livid at the call, yet it failed to inspire a comeback. The 1–0 margin held for the final 10 minutes, and Yale tallied its third conference loss, stripping the Bulldogs of any hope of an Ivy League title.

    Now in fifth place in the conference with just two games to play, the Elis will have to find a way to compete with league-leader Columbia and third-place Brown before turning to the offseason. Despite the dejection the players surely feel, the Bulldogs will look to dust themselves off and set the tone for the 2017 campaign.

    “I think the morale is good, actually,” Chavarin said. “We know we can’t win the Ivies or go to the NCAA tournament, so we’re just working on getting ready for next year when we’ll hopefully do both of those things.”

    The Elis will play their final home game of 2016 on Saturday against Columbia. The match will kick off at 4 p.m.

  2. MEN’S SOCCER: Elis blanked by Penn at home

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    After falling 2–0 in a midweek loss to Big Ten goliath No. 20 Michigan State on Wednesday, the Yale men’s soccer team returned to New Haven looking to build a modest conference win streak against Penn on Saturday.

    A week removed from their first Ivy League victory in over two years — a 3–0 win over bottom-of-the-league Cornell — the Elis (2–7–2, 1–2–1 Ivy) failed to capitalize on any momentum and fell 3–0 to an overpowering Quaker (4–5–2, 2–2–0) team. Despite a strong start, the Bulldogs started out eventually succumbed to Penn’s offensive efficiency in the lopsided loss.

    “We created enough chances to score goals, but ultimately you have to put balls in the back of the net,” head coach Kylie Stannard said. “We didn’t make plays tonight … I’m always proud of these guys when it comes to how they fight but we weren’t sharp and I thought Penn was better.”

    Yale attacked immediately after the initial whistle. The Elis earned their first corner kick in the second minute of the game, on which midfielder Nicky Downs ’19 sent a curling cross into the heart of the box to a soaring Kyle Kenagy ’19. The forward headed the ball past the goalie, but his shot was too high, smashing off the crossbar and away from the net. Just over two minutes later, the tide shifted as Penn midfielder Dami Omitaomu slotted home an easy finish off a pass from defenseman Eremuse Momoh.

    This marked the second time this season that Yale has conceded a goal within the first six minutes of a match. Against Lafayette on Sept. 17, the Elis found themselves at a one-goal disadvantage only 3:07 in and went on to lose 2–0.

    “It was tough giving up a goal early [against Penn], one we thought we should have prevented,” midfielder Lucas Kirby ’19 said.

    Yale earned three more corner kicks in the five minutes succeeding the opening goal. Downs connected with Kenagy once again on the Elis’ third corner of the day, but his header was blocked before it reached the goal. Penn forbid the Bulldogs from getting their heads on either of the other two corners.

    The Bulldogs’ offense sputtered thereafter, seldom threatening at a goal in the remaining 35 minutes of the first half. Yale allowed Penn a second goal in the 30th minute, when Quakers midfielder Gideon Metrikin struck off of a laser from distance.

    The score remained 2–0 as both teams entered their locker rooms at the half.

    Twenty minutes into the second half, Penn scored its third unanswered goal to all but eliminate Yale’s chances for a comeback. While the Elis held the Quakers to just one shot from that point on, Yale only mustered two shots of its own in the remaining 25 minutes.

    The Quakers were far more efficient with their chances, as every shot they took was on-target. While the Elis took 11 shots, five more than their opponents, only four of those found their way on-target compared to Penn’s six.

    “Throughout the game we had the most chances,” defenseman Justin Lobe ’20 said. “We could have converted quite a few and it just came down to focusing in our final third and their final third. The few chances they got they could convert, and the few chances we got we couldn’t convert.”

    Despite this loss, the Elis still remain ahead of Princeton and Cornell in the Ivy League standings. The Tigers, currently mired in a 0–3–1 record, will be Yale’s last challenge of the season. A final sixth place standing in the Ancient Eight would be the Bulldogs’ highest since 2013, its last multi-win conference season.

    Yale will play its penultimate nonconference match on Tuesday against Hartford before returning home to face Columbia on Saturday.

  3. FIELD HOCKEY: Yale stuns Penn in overtime thriller

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    Despite dropping its 2–0 halftime lead, the Yale field hockey team persevered to emerge victorious against Penn in a hard-fought overtime contest on Saturday at Johnson Field.

    With the memory of their win over Dartmouth still fresh in their minds, the Bulldogs (6–8, 2–3 Ivy) took to the field this past weekend anticipating a difficult challenge against Ivy League rival Penn (9–5, 3–2). The Elis led 2–0 going into the first half, but were unable to maintain their lead as the Quakers scored two goals in quick succession before the final whistle. The game was sent into a dramatic overtime period, which Bulldog captain and midfielder Steffi Katz ’17 ended with a powerful goal, earning Yale its first victory over the Quakers since 2011.

    “I think we played good, aggressive hockey and were really resilient [today],” head coach Pam Stuper said. “We’ve been in a really good place, and I think that the Dartmouth win was big for us. Scoring [seven] goals got everyone believing we can generate attack, and we came out hard to start [against Penn], which was exactly what we intended to do. We followed the game plan and scored the two goals.”

    Despite allowing Penn to snatch two quick penalty corners in the first few minutes of the game, the Bulldogs claimed the majority of possession in the first half. Forward Bridget Condie ’20 drew a penalty corner in the 15th minute of the contest, which fellow attacker Allie Carrigan ’19 converted into the first score of the match and her fifth goal on the season.

    Forward Carol Middough ’18, the team leader with eight goals in 2016, contributed the second of the Bulldogs’ regulation-time strikes off a slick pass from forward Danee Fitzgerald ’17. Middough received the ball on her reverse stick and swung powerfully, sending in a backhand shot past Penn netminder Liz Mata. Middough once again spearheaded Yale’s offense, claiming four of the Elis’ 13 shots on goal.

    “I was trying to get a corner but nobody went for the ball, so I just took the shot and it went in,” Middough said. “I think this is our [second] game this season we had to go into overtime, so it’s definitely great to have not given up and to finish with a win.”

    But the Quakers soon took control of the second half by firing in two masterful penalty corner goals in less than two minutes to level the scoreboard. The Bulldog defense struggled to find the outlet passes that had previously given the team so much time on the ball, and the Eli attackers followed an eight-shot first half with just two shots in the final 35 minutes of regulation.

    The Penn offense, on the other hand, took 11 shots in the half and had three opportunities to take a one-goal lead in the final six minutes of regulation. Eli goalkeeper Emilie Katz ’17 was called upon to make a dive with just two minutes left on the clock, denying Quaker forward Sofia Palacios’ sixth shot on goal and sending the match into overtime.

    “At halftime we talked about how … Penn is a team that does not quit. They’re not going to sit back and just pack it in, and so [the goals] didn’t surprise me,” Stuper said. “I was a little frustrated with the second one coming so quickly, but [Penn is] a good team, and we know what it’s capable of. I thought our players showed tremendous resilience in the second half … and they were confident going into overtime because we practice it every week.”

    As the weather grew progressively wetter and windier, the game became more intense and difficult. The field opened up with only six players and a goalie allowed for each side in overtime, placing a massive workload on players chasing the ball. The action flew back and forth between the two ends of the field, with each team attempting several shots.

    But in the end, it was Steffi Katz who delivered the deciding blow. Fitzgerald collected the ball off a rebound from one of her own shots and passed it quickly across to Katz, who was waiting in front of the goal. The captain took a rapid-fire forehand volley and snapped the ball into the back of the net, securing the Elis’ first victory over Penn in five seasons and its second conference win in a row.

    “We were physically able to overcome our exhaustion when we went into overtime, and we felt the momentum because we had reconnected towards the end of the second half,” midfielder Marissa Medici ’19 said. “We kept each other positive, and I think that was key. It made the biggest difference in this game.”

    With the win, Yale improved to 2–3 in conference play, cementing the team in a four-way tie for fourth place in the Ancient Eight. The Bulldogs will continue their slate of home competition next weekend as they host Columbia on Saturday at 12 p.m.

    Matthew Mister contributed reporting.

  4. FOOTBALL: Bulldogs smothered in first Yale Bowl night game

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    The stage was set on Friday for the Yale football team: After starting 0–3, the Bulldogs gutted out a win over defending conference champion Dartmouth and put themselves in a position to beat Penn to seize second-place in the Ivy League standings. Yet it was the Quakers who had the last laugh once the curtains closed, serving the Bulldogs a 42–7 defeat under the lights at the Yale Bowl.

    The Penn (4–2, 3–0 Ivy) offense imposed its will on Yale (1–5, 1–2) through the air and on the ground. Quaker quarterback Alek Torgersen threw for 229 yards and four touchdowns, while top wideout Justin Watson reeled in three of those touchdowns along with a career-high 166 yards. Penn running back Tre Solomon, who entered the game leading the league in rushing, added 120 yards on the ground in addition to 66 from Torgersen.

    Yale’s attack followed the same formula as in weeks past. The run game was bolstered by 118 yards from Alan Lamar ’20, but quarterback Tre Moore ’19 struggled to connect with his receivers, totaling just 93 passing yards along with a touchdown and two turnovers. Moore was not helped by a poor performance from his receivers, who dropped a number of on-target balls.

    “We knew [Penn was] a really good team and we’d have to stay with them,” head coach Tony Reno said. “At times we did and at times we didn’t. We have to work to get better as a football team.”

    While the Bulldog offense managed just seven points, the game was undoubtedly lost on the defensive side of the line. Torgersen, an Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year favorite, fired the ball all over the field with impressive accuracy in the first half, and Watson ran around and behind the Eli secondary with ease. Penn attempted just six passes in the second half, two of which came courtesy of Torgersen’s backup, Michael Collins, as the senior sat during the entire fourth quarter.

    Complementing Solomon’s 120-yard game, Torgersen contributed just as many problems in the run game as in the passing game. The quarterback did not rush for fewer than four yards on any attempt, and kept the struggling Bulldog defense on the field by scampering for two third-down conversions in the first half.

    “They came in and stuck to their game plan and we had to make a few adjustments,” captain and linebacker Darius Manora ’17 said. “We didn’t play well and needed to tackle better. They executed their plays and we didn’t execute ours.”

    The Elis entered the game with the top rushing offense in the Ivy League. Although the unit saw some success against Penn, it did not dominate as it recently had against Dartmouth and Fordham. Moore contributed just four rushing yards from the quarterback position and Dale Harris ’17 played mostly at cornerback, getting only three carries on offense.

    Lamar kept the running game afloat in his return from injury, rushing for 118 yards to reprise his 180-yard performance in the Dartmouth game two weekends ago. The freshman shouldered the load without his usual ensemble in the backfield — in addition to Harris playing mostly defense, backs Deshawn Salter ’18 and Candler Rich ’17 both missed the game due to injury.

    “I wasn’t cleared until the end of the week,” Lamar said. “I just took it as I was going to play so I just worked hard all week and went from there.”

    Moore completed just 13 of 30 passes in the pocket, with his longest going for just 13 yards. The sophomore also fumbled on a run on the opening drive and threw an interception three series later. Penn scored touchdowns on both possessions following Moore’s early turnovers.

    In what seemed to be the prologue to another quarterback controversy, Moore was benched for a series in the second quarter after his interception, with quarterback Kurt Rawlings ’20 assuming the spotlight under center. The freshman assembled a middling 14-yard drive that resulted in a punt, and Moore returned the next drive with noticeable uptick in accuracy.

    “I just wanted to give Tre a break,” Reno said. “Things were going really fast, and at every other position you can give a guy a break when they need it. We’ve done that before with Morgan Roberts ’16 and we did it today with Tre.”

    Struggles in the passing game cannot rest solely on Moore’s shoulders, as young receivers, playing instead of an injured Christopher Williams-Lopez ’18, dropped several potential first-down passes.

    Yale’s late touchdown ensured that the team narrowly avoided tying the worst home loss in its history on Friday, faring slightly barely better than in its 42-point losses to UConn in 1998 and to Colgate in this year’s season opener. The Elis will look for a better result under Friday night lights next week as they travel to Columbia for a 7 p.m. clash.

  5. Ivies, Stanford, MIT post record-low admit rates

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    It’s that time of year again — several colleges released their admissions decisions this week, sending hundreds of thousands of anxious high school students into either incredible elation or crushing disappointment.

    Seven out of the eight Ivy League schools posted all-time low acceptance rates for the class of 2017 yesterday, making for the most competitive admissions cycle in history. Yale accepted a record-low of 6.72 percent of its 29,610 applicant pool, and Harvard — the only Ivy more selective than Yale this year — saw its acceptance rate plummet down to a mere 5.79 percent.

    Columbia and Princeton reported rates of 6.89 percent and 7.29 percent, respectively, while Cornell, Brown and the University of Pennsylvania posted rates of 15.15 percent, 9.16 percent and 12.1 percent.

    The only Ivy League institution that reported an increase in its acceptance rate this year was Dartmouth, rising from 9.43 percent in 2012 to 10 percent yesterday.

    Outside of the Ivy cluster, MIT also reported an all-time low acceptance rate, admitting just 8.3 percent of its applicant pool. Over on the opposite coast, Stanford announced today that it accepted only 5.69 percent of its applicants — 2,210 students from a pool of 38,828 applications.

    The record-low admission rates this year continue the trend of increasing selectivity at top colleges nationwide. Experts interviewed were divided on the question of whether or not this trend will continue into future years.