After hanging tough with the nationally ranked No. 8 West Virginia Mountaineers in the first half, the women’s soccer team lost 2-0 Sunday on goals 15 minutes apart in New Britain.
The Bulldogs (4-2-0) relied heavily on ECAC Goalkeeper of the week, Sarah Walker ’05, who turned away five shots from the Mountaineers (7-1-0). The game was Yale’s last nonconference tuneup before facing nationally ranked No. 25 Princeton (4-0-0) in Princeton, N.J., on Sept. 27 to kickoff the Ivy League season.
The Elis only registered two shots on goal the entire game.
“We didn’t really get that many opportunities on goal,” Walker said.
After a strong offensive performance in a 3-2 win over Sacred Heart University (2-2-3) Sept. 17, the Bulldogs lacked the chemistry up front that had created several scoring chances in previous games.
“We’re going to be working on finishing, and — the last pass through to the forward that will give them the opportunity to score,” said midfielder Laurel Karnes ’06, the team’s leading scorer. “Our defense is doing extremely well.”
Like the Elis, the Mountaineers did not have much success finishing plays in the first half, but in the second frame, West Virginia defender Ashley Weimer’s playmaking abilities sealed the win for the Mountaineers.
In minute 65, All-American Lisa Stoia headed Weimer’s free kick past Walker and into the net. And in minute 80, Weimer fed midfielder Marisa Kinela on a long ball that Kinela tapped in for the game’s final score. Miscommunication among two Yale defenders led to cross to Kinela, Karnes said.
“[They were able to score because] they were pressuring us the whole game,” Walker said.
Yesterday’s loss was similar to the Bulldogs’ only other contest against a nationally ranked opponent. On Sept. 7, Yale lost 2-0 to nationally ranked No. 7 University of Connecticut (4-1-2) and was outshot 12-5.
“We played better as a team today, but I definitely thought the [Connecticut] game was a little more intense,” Walker said.
The Elis are continuing to experiment with different lineups and formations to best utilize the team’s athleticism and talents. These switches can be problematic for a young team with players finding themselves in different positions each game.
“Some people may not have understood their positions as well as they should have [today],” Karnes said. “It’s definitely important [to have a lineup] that’s going to work in all aspects of the game. I don’t know if we’ve quite found it yet.”
The Bulldogs have six days off before facing Princeton — the team to beat in the Ivy League this year, head coach Rudy Meredith said.
After Sunday’s match, it will be important for Yale to be fully rested for its Ivy League opener.
“[Sunday], we were really tired,” Karnes said. “Some people are just tired, and I don’t know why.”