Fate simply was not with the women’s soccer team Sunday as No. 10 Connecticut (10-1-1) topped the Bulldogs (6-2-1, 1-1 Ivy) 1-0.
The loss snapped Yale’s five-game winning streak.
“They didn’t have many chances. We played them evenly,” said Jennie Garver ’03, who led the Bulldogs’ defense. “Forwards were doing good stuff and had some good penetration. It just wasn’t our day.”
A Bulldog foul in the 16th minute gave the Huskies a free kick from just outside the 18-yard line. Salla Ranta’s shot sailed over the head of goalkeeper Lindsay Sabel ’03 inside the post to grab a 1-0 lead for Connecticut.
And that was all the scoring the Huskies would need. The Connecticut defense silenced the Yale scoring attack, which generated five goals against Central Connecticut a week earlier.
“It was a very good shot. There was nothing Lindsay could do about it,” Garver said.
Other than the foul, play was fairly even in the first half.
“We came out ready to play, and that’s always one of our strengths,” Garver said.
But both teams emerged from the break pushing and pressuring more, yet neither could not produce a goal.
“We knocked the ball down well and our short passing game was on,” Garver said. “They had trouble coping with that. But their back line was very fast. We just couldn’t get around the defense.”
With the early goal, Connecticut was able to settle back and stymie all Bulldog attacks.
“The offense had a little trouble in the first half, but the defense was definitely solid,” Katherine Ling ’03 said.
The sheer athleticism that the Bulldogs have relied on was simply not enough, especially with forward Lauren Gillies ’03 sidelined with a bone bruise.
“It could have helped to have Gillies. She adds an element of speed. It’s nice to have her and [Chandra] King together up front,” Garver said. “It’s hard to tell, though.”
The Huskies shut down the sprints down the wings, and Yale was forced to take on the Huskies one-on-one.
Though Sabel only recorded one save, for the first time this year Yale was outshot by its opponent. The Bulldogs were only able to get off two shots compared to the Huskies’ eight.
The low-scoring affair speaks loudly to the spectacular play of the defense. Both Connecticut and Yale were stingy on the defensive side, only allowing a combined 10 shots on goal.
Despite the loss, the Bulldogs were pleased with their play.
“We were still pretty upbeat,” Garver said. “Losing on a fluky shot is frustrating, but we were not disappointed. We just have to step it up.”
And the Bulldogs have proved they can step it up. After its previous loss to Princeton, Yale went on a tear, winning five games in a row, including its first ever against Hartford.
“The game went pretty well,” Ling said. “It’s frustrating, but it’s not a complete loss. We were able to play with a team with that high caliber,” Ling said. “This should be by far the hardest team we play. So basically, we should win the rest of the games.”
The Bulldogs continue their campaign for the Ivy League championship in Hanover, N.H. against Dartmouth Sunday at 2:30 p.m.