It came down to the final 40 seconds, but midfielder Laurel Karnes ’06 and the women’s soccer team eked out a 3-2 victory over Sacred Heart University at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium Wednesday night.

After giving up the game-tying goal with less than six minutes to play, the Bulldogs (4-1-0) rallied, and Laurel Karnes ’06 beat Pioneer goalkeeper Leslie Konsig with 34 seconds left in the game. Defender Christina Huang ’06 collected the ball near midfield and caught a streaking Karnes in the box, who put the nail in the Pioneers’ coffin with her second goal of the season. The win was the third in a row for the Elis, whose only loss this season was 2-0 to No. 7 Connecticut Sept. 7.

“With five minutes left after they scored, I turned to the team and [said] ‘Slow it down,'” said Karnes, who was honorable mention All-Ivy last year. “I just saw an opening. You don’t think about it, you just do it.”

The Bulldogs were in control of the game with a 2-1 lead when at 84:53, Pioneer forward Christel Kalweit put a rebound past rookie Eli keeper Chloe Beizer ’07, who had replaced Sarah Walker ’05 less than three minutes earlier. Sacred Heart (1-2-1) refused to quit throughout the game, falling behind 1-0 and 2-1.

“I gave [Beizer] my word that she was going to play tonight,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “My word was more important than winning this match. It was a tough situation to put her in.”

Because of a violation of team rules, no freshmen played in the first half of the game, Meredith said.

Three freshmen started for Yale in its game Sunday against Loyola University Chicago (3-3-0).

“[Not having the starting freshmen] obviously affected our rhythm,” Meredith said.

Despite the difficulties of an abnormal starting lineup, the Bulldogs dominated most of the first half, totaling six shots to the Pioneers’ four while controlling the play.

Entering the last third of the half, Yale led 1-0 thanks to Vanessa Resnick’s ’05 goal at 17:51.

However, with just under 11 minutes left in the half, Sacred Heart forward Nathalie Urbas drilled a shot from just outside the box past Walker, off of the left post and in.

The Pioneers then controlled the play for the remaining minutes of the half.

“The momentum went back and forth, back and forth,” Sacred Heart head coach Joe Barroso said. “Both coaches need to correct a couple of things.”

Karnes helped Yale to a 2-1 lead at 66:01 when she threaded the ball through two Sacred Heart defenders to a streaking Michelle Gosselin ’07 in the box, who beat a Pioneer defender and blew a shot past Konsig to reclaim a one-goal lead.

Throughout the second half, Karnes dominated every facet of the game, making stops on defense and setting up her teammates on offense.

“She has the ability to be one of the best players in the [Ivy] League this year,” Meredith said. “She can defend and she can score so you have a double threat.”

Karnes partially attributed her second-half surge to Meredith.

“Our halftime speech is what fired us up,” she said. “We got the impression that we needed to work a little harder.”

With last night’s nail-biter behind them, the Elis are now focusing on No. 12 West Virginia University (5-1-0) which they will face in New Britain Sept. 21.