If you can say one thing about Yalies, it is that they know how to use their heads. And the women’s soccer team is no exception.
In an exhausting weekend of back-to-back games, the Bulldogs managed to keep both their opponents scoreless. Yale (5-7-2, 0-3-2 Ivy) shut out the Providence College Friars (6-8-2) Sunday on its way to a 3-0 victory, scoring all three goals on headers. Saturday, the Bulldogs played to a 0-0 double-overtime tie with the Columbia Lions (9-5-1, 1-3-1 Ivy).
Sunday at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium, captain Sara Ruiz ’02 opened up the scoring at 36:42 when she deflected a Chandra King ’03 shot past Friars goalkeeper Caroline Haines. Only seven minutes later, King crossed the ball to Lindsay Demaree ’05, who headed it into the goal from the left post for her first career score.
Demaree’s classmate, Vanessa Resnick ’05, iced the cake with a header of her own with under four minutes to play in the contest. King was credited with that assist as well, giving her three on the game and placing her second on the team in scoring with eight points.
“When we had chances early, we scored,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “We were able to play with the lead; there’s not the panic of ‘oh-we-have-to-score-a-goal.'”
Meredith said that the halftime lead also helped rejuvenate his players after the grueling tie against Columbia the day before.
“Psychologically, when you score [early], you pick your game up,” Meredith said. “It boosted our morale and energy, both mentally and physically.”
Providence head coach Tracy Kerr said the Bulldogs came into the game with something to prove, while the Friars did not play their best soccer.
“They had a tough game [Saturday], and they knew they had to pull together and they did it,” Kerr said. “We’re tired and beat up as well, and we didn’t play very well.”
At Columbia, the Bulldogs and Lions played 120 minutes of even soccer. Neither team was able to capitalize on the 10 and 11 shots on goal they had, respectively.
“Both teams were working pretty hard, but [they] couldn’t put it in the back of the net,” King said.
The weekend also marked the return of goalkeeper Sarah Peterson ’02. Peterson, who had sat out the season thus far while recuperating from off-season knee surgery, played over 20 minutes in the second half against Providence and made one save.
“Anytime someone gets hurt who’s an essential part of the team, it’s awesome to get them back on the field,” King said.
Lindsay Sabel ’03, who has started every game this season, will likely get the nod to guard the net at No. 9 University of Connecticut Thursday, but Peterson, as a senior, will start next weekend against Brown in Yale’s last home game, Meredith said.
Last year Yale stunned the Huskies (13-4) with a 1-0 victory at home.
To repeat the performance, the Bulldogs will have to use the momentum they gained from this past weekend.
“We’re not going to have the advantage of being underestimated like we were last year,” Meredith said.
Thursday’s game is the Bulldogs’ third to last of the season. With only two Ivy League contests left, Yale is running out of time to log a conference victory. Yale’s best opportunity will be next Sunday when they face Brown (3-8-1, 0-4-1 Ivy), with whom they are tied for last place in the league.
“We’re not closing the door on our season even though we’re not going to make the tournament,” King said.