The women’s soccer team desperately needed not only a victory, but also a multi-goal game. Wednesday afternoon at Stony Brook, the Bulldogs got just what the doctor ordered.
After going six games without a victory, Yale (4-5-1, 0-2-1 Ivy) rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat SUNY-Stony Brook 3-2. Leading the way were Ali Cobbett ’03, with two goals, and Lee Anne Jasper ’04, with an assist and the game-winning goal.
“Our whole team was definitely on a high all of [Wednesday],” Jasper said. “[Winning] was definitely a feeling we missed.”
The Bulldogs dug themselves into a hole early, giving up two goals in the first 20 minutes of the game. But at 29:17 Cobbett put the Elis on the board with a shot that found the corner of Stony Brook’s (1-10-2) goal.
“We were down 2-0 [and] it was one of those things where we kind of scored on ourselves,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “I was like ‘here we go again, we can’t score goals.’ Then we scored a goal before halftime and I knew we could score on this team in the second half.”
With the strong wind at its back in the second half, the Bulldog defense had a much easier time containing Stony Brook’s front line. And for the first time in several games, Yale’s offense was able to equal the skilled play of its defenders
“We’ve worked on finishing constantly and it paid off,” Captain Sara Ruiz ’02 said. “We need to keep this up in the upcoming games.”
Cobbett notched her second goal of the game at 58:21 on a low kick from the top of the penalty box. Cobbett has been Yale’s most prolific scorer all season, leading the team with nine goals.
“[Cobbett] can do this all the time,” Meredith said. “She had the chances [and] she put them away yesterday.”
The game remained tied until, with 3:35 left in the second half, Jasper netted a pass from Ritha Belizaire ’02.
“Ali [Cobbett] crossed [the ball], Ritha [Belizaire] headed it back toward the goal to me and I just collected it and shot it,” Jasper said.
Belizaire played for the first time since Oct. 6 Wednesday, returning from a bruised-foot injury. While the Bulldogs were heartened by Belizaire’s return, Ruiz and Maureen Metzger ’05 did not play and remain day-to-day, due to a quadriceps and hip flexor injury, respectively.
The Elis will carry the momentum from Wednesday’s victory into a crucial game at third-place University of Pennsylvania (9-1-1, 2-1 Ivy) Saturday afternoon. Off to their best start in team history, the Quakers will make scoring difficult for Yale. Penn has shut out eight of its 11 opponents.
“We’re going to have to be very patient — they’re a very well organized defensive team,” Meredith said. “It might be one of those games where neither team has a lot of chances to score.”
The Bulldogs’ main defensive objective will be to shut down freshman-phenom Katy Cross. Cross is second on the team in goals with six scores, and leads the Quakers with nine assists.
“She’s good [one-on-one] and even when she doesn’t score she creates goal scoring opportunities for her teammates,” Meredith said.
If Yale is to remain competitive in the Ivy League this season, a win Saturday is critical.
“[We need to] continue the offensive flow — we did get three [goals] the last game, but Penn is obviously better competition than Stony Brook,” Jasper said.