The women’s soccer team needs history to repeat itself Saturday, when it hosts Cornell at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium.
Sitting in the basement of the Ancient Eight, the Bulldogs (6-5-1, 0-2-1 Ivy) hope to earn their first conference victory the same way they did in 2002: with a victory over the Big Red (7-2-2, 1-1-1 Ivy). The Elis will attempt to win consecutive games for the first time since Sept. 17. On Tuesday night, the Elis beat Colgate (8-6-0) 3-2 at home.
“It’s going to be a huge game,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “It’s going to be a tough game for us and we need to get an Ivy League [win].”
For any chance of a victory, Yale will need to build on its strong offensive display against Colgate.
After generating only four shots on goal in the 1-0 overtime loss against Dartmouth (4-5-1, 3-0-0 Ivy) on Oct. 11, the Bulldogs registered 21 shots and scored three goals to defeat the Raiders 3-2.
“Our key is our shooting,” midfielder Laurel Karnes ’06 said. “We need to get shots off.”
Karnes leads the Bulldogs this season with 18 points.
Despite two goals against Central Connecticut State University on Tuesday — the most Yale has allowed in over two weeks — the Bulldogs have no doubts about their strength this season.
Goalkeeper Sarah Walker ’05, currently ranked second in the Ivies in saves and shutouts, has been the backbone of Yale’s defense all year.
“[Colgate] had extremely strong and extremely fast forwards,” Karnes said.
The Big Red, fourth in the Ancient Eight, has some offensive explosiveness up front that will require the Bulldogs to be prepared.
Cornell forward Emily Knight leads the Ivy League in goals and points, with nine and 21 respectively.
Big Red head coach Berhane Andeberhan downplayed his team’s success so far this season.
“We’re trying to be consistent in our own play,” he said. “I’m very happy with my team, but I don’t want to overestimate our abilities.”
If records are worth anything, this weekend’s game should be a close one. On Oct. 8, the Big Red defeated Colgate by one goal and on Oct. 11 tied Harvard (5-3-4, 1-0-2 Ivy) 1-1. Yale also defeated Colgate by one goal and tied Harvard 0-0 on Oct. 4.
Cornell has demonstrated offensive improvement of late, highlighted by Wednesday’s 4-0 win against Army (8-7-0).
“We have probably improved the most in having a little more [of a] consistent attack than in the past,” Andeberhan said.
Consistency will be a necessity for the Elis, who have only four conference games remaining this season.
Last season, Yale got its first conference win against Cornell Sept. 28. Yale went on to its first-ever appearance and victory in the NCAA Tournament.
Any hopes of getting back to the postseason this time around will depend on a late-season winning streak.
“If we play well, we can win the rest of our games,” Meredith said. “That’s what we have to do if we want a chance at [the] postseason.”
Without looking too far into the future, Saturday’s game provides the Bulldogs the opportunity to silence any critics.
“We just want to prove ourselves in the Ivies,” Karnes said. “We’re trying to prove that we can score and move out of last place.”
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