The women’s soccer team was hoping to repeat last year’s stunning upset of No. 9 Connecticut Thursday night at Storrs. Unfortunately, the Huskies had other ideas.
In their second-to-last away game of the season, the Bulldogs (5-8-2) fell 2-1, marking their fourth loss to a Top-25 team this season.
In their final regular season game, the Huskies scored first, forcing Yale to play catchup the rest of the game. Thirty minutes into the first half, Huskies senior Mary-Beth Bowie scored her third goal of the season on a chip shot over Eli goalkeeper Lindsay Sabel ’03. Bowie’s opportunity came after the ball deflected off a Yale defender.
“It was a great shot; there was nothing we could do about it really,” Yale defender Jennie Garver ’03 said. “Sabel had no chance on it.”
Freshman Kristen Graczyk added to the Connecticut lead at 64:47 with an unassisted goal. The team’s leading scorer, Graczyk finished the regular season with a total of nine scores.
“For some reason we didn’t close her down quick enough, and she had time to put the ball in the back of the net,” Garver said.
Yale’s lone goal of the night came only six seconds after the Graczyk score when Chandra King ’03 surprised the Huskies’ defense after the restart at midfield. While the goal was officially unassisted, Ali Cobbett ’03 and captain Sara Ruiz ’02 helped set up the play from the midfield.
“The three of us sort of passed it around like bing-bing-bing and Chandra made a great run and she was able to beat them with her speed,” Ruiz said.
The Bulldogs had very few scoring opportunities throughout the game. They were outshot 14-3, and Connecticut goalkeeper Shanna Caldwell did not notch a single save. Sabel, on the other hand, logged six stops.
“The first half was really hard because we were playing with two up top and they had four in the back, so we were basically running the whole time,” Ruiz said.
In the second half, Cobbett joined Ruiz and King on the front line, evening the numbers and allowing the offense to generate more scoring opportunities, Ruiz said.
UConn finished its regular season with an impressive overall record of 15-4-0 and heads into the NCAA tournament as the No. 1 seed in the Northeast region.
While the Huskies now turn their attention to a run at the NCAA title, the Elis have two more games to record their first Ivy win of the season. Yale (0-3-2 Ivy) faces Brown (3-9-1, 0-4-1 Ivy) Sunday at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium and then travels to Princeton for a match against the Tigers (12-1-1, 5-0-0 Ivy) Nov. 10.
Sunday’s game marks the last home game for Ruiz and her three classmates, Ritha Belizaire ’02, Megan Strenski ’02 and Sarah Peterson ’02. All four seniors will start in the contest.
“With every game that passes we all get a little bit sadder, but I think that even makes in even more fun and makes us more bumped up,” Ruiz said.
The Brown Bears are the only other team without an Ivy win this year. The team has had a disappointing season after finishing third in the Ivy League in 2000 and barely missing an NCAA tournament berth. With Princeton on pace to win the Ivy title, the Brown game is the Bulldogs’ best shot at an Ivy win.
“Team morale is pretty high coming off the tie last weekend [against Columbia] and this performance against UConn,” Ruiz said.