The Yale women’s soccer team continues its campaign for the Ivy League championship when it travels to Cornell Saturday.
With the Bulldogs dropping their conference opener to Princeton earlier in the season, head coach Rudy Meredith senses a serious urgency in this weekend’s game.
“We can’t win the Ivy League with two losses,” he said.
The Bulldogs would be hard-pressed to win the conference and the accompanying automatic NCAA bid with a loss to the Big Red.
“We need a win. With teams like Harvard and Princeton, we can’t afford to lose,” Meredith said.
Unfortunately, for reasons unknown, according to Meredith, Yale has traditionally struggled in Ithaca, N.Y.
“I don’t know why, but we don’t do well up there. We really need to step it up,” he said.
Not even captain Ali Cobbett ’03 could articulate the team’s troubles at Cornell.
“We were definitely the better team last year,” she said despite the fact the Bulldogs lost, 1-0, to the Big Red last October.
Last September, the Bulldogs took the Big Red to overtime before Cornell scored the golden goal in the 93rd minute. But, Yale enters Saturday’s matchup on a three-game winning streak, including its first-ever win over the University of Hartford, as it looks for its first conference win.
The Bulldogs will rely on a newfound confidence and their typical tactics — team-play and passing — to thwart Cornell.
“We are going to play our game. We aren’t going to change much,” Cobbett said. “Both the Hartford and Princeton games were huge confidence boosters. On paper, they should have beaten us. We proved that we can play with the best.”