Call them “iron women.”
The women’s soccer team won its third game in five days Tuesday at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium, downing Constitution State rival Sacred Heart 1-0. The win boosted the Elis’ record to 3-0 and marked their second consecutive shutout. Last weekend, the Bulldogs defeated Manhattan College 3-0.
“Yale deserved to win,” Sacred Heart head coach Joe Barroso said. “They got themselves up for the game better than we did.”
Such a close schedule of games is tiring for players, and Yale head coach Rudy Meredith acknowledged the effects of such a rigorous schedule on his team.
“It was one of those tough games — we’ve played three games in five days and that’s not the most ideal situation to perform at your peak,” Meredith said.
Despite the unfavorable scheduling situation, the Bulldogs appeared anything but fatigued and sluggish. They dominated the Pioneers from the opening kickoff to the final whistle. An exceptional performance by the Yale defense limited Sacred Heart to just four shots on goal for the entire game, compared to Yale’s 12.
Complementing the defense was an intense, well-organized offense led by midfielder Laurel Karnes ’06 and forward Mimi Macauley ’07. Both Meredith and his players agreed that the offense did a good job of controlling the ball and creating chances.
During the scoreless first half, the Bulldogs kept the pressure on the Pioneer defense and on sophomore goalkeeper Ashley Mocarski, who finished the afternoon with 11 saves. The Elis created many opportunities to score, and, according to coach Meredith, the inability of the Bulldogs to capitalize upon these opportunities is an issue that needs to be addressed.
“We need to convert more of our chances to score [in future games],” he said.
The single goal for the Bulldogs was scored in the 58th minute by defender Christina Huang ’07. Huang, a returning starter and a 2003 All-Ivy, played on the defensive end for most of the game. During the second half, however, she moved forward and attacked the Sacred Heart defense with intensity, eventually hitting a long shot off an assist from Macauley.
Walker said she was extremely satisfied with Huang’s performance.
“Christina [Huang] did well playing up,” Walker said. “We needed a bit more strength, and she stepped up.”
The Pioneers left New Haven with a record of 1-3. The loss was disappointing to Barroso.
“Our goalkeeper was outstanding,” he said. “[But] a couple players I depend on didn’t come through today. We have a young team, and we just need to learn.”
The Bulldogs consider their first three wins preparation for an extremely demanding season, during which they will face soccer powerhouses Connecticut, Santa Clara and Princeton.
“We have a lot of big games coming up, and it’s been nice to get a chance to play together and start with wins,” Walker said.
The team plays again Friday at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium against the Connecticut Huskies, who are 1-2 on the season.