In their final homestand of the season, the Bulldogs dropped both of their games this weekend.
Friday, the Elis (6-10, 1-5 Ivy) dominated a weaker Columbia squad, but the Lions (5-10, 2-4) scored the only goal of the game in overtime to win, 1-0. Despite playing well Sunday, the Bulldogs could not hold off No. 11 Boston College (16-4), falling 2-0. Sunday was also Yale’s senior day. Defender Meredith Hudson ’05, captain Chrissy Hall ’05, midfielder Sarah Driscoll ’05 and forwards Meredith Howell ’05 and Buffy Topp ’05 were all recognized before the game.
The biggest issue for the Bulldogs this weekend was an inability to score, a problem Yale has had all season. The Elis have been held scoreless in four of their last five contests and have not tallied on a penalty corner since the Bulldogs’ 3-2 overtime win over Dartmouth Oct. 9.
“We didn’t score,” Hall said. “There’s nothing else to say. We dominated [Friday’s] game, but you can’t win if you don’t score.”
Yale came out strong Friday, staying in Columbia’s end for most of the first half and taking three shots on three penalty corners. The Lions only got off a pair of shots during a skirmish in front of the Eli goal about halfway through the frame and Yale goaltender Kate Crandall ’06 was able to stop both. Columbia did not earn a penalty corner during the first half.
The Bulldogs did not let up, dominating the second half of the game. The Elis outshot the Lions 7-2 and took four penalty corners to Columbia’s two.
Leading the Eli second-half charge was Driscoll, who led the transition game down the field to create multiple Bulldog scoring opportunities. She nearly ended the game with two minutes left in the game when she took a loose ball around midfield and brought it all the way down to take a shot, but Columbia goalie Kristina George made a diving save to send the game to overtime.
The seven-on-seven overtime period began on a sour note for the Elis when defender Emily Palilonis ’07 could not make full contact on a pass and the ball was intercepted by a Columbia forward.
The Lions brought the ball down and Crandall made a sliding save on a one-on-one with Columbia forward Jen Cruz. But less than a minute later, Lion forward Ramie Merrill took the ball on the right edge of the Eli circle and managed to move left around two outstreched Yale defenders. Merrill’s shot snuck through Crandall’s legs for the game-winning tally.
One factor that may have worked against the Bulldogs was suspect refereeing. Multiple fouls were called on Yale players in the Columbia circle, ending possible scoring opportunities. But Yale head coach Ainslee Lamb denied that any blame for the loss could be placed on the referees.
“It’s an excuse,” Lamb said. “We didn’t lose the game because of a couple of bad calls. We lost it because Columbia won it. We played for 35 minutes and they played for 70.”
While the Elis fell by two goals in Sunday’s matchup with BC, the game was in many respects more impressive than Friday’s outing. The Bulldogs stayed even with the Eagles all game, matching BC’s 10 shots and only trailing 6-4 in penalty corners.
The Eli defense was impressive yet again, holding the Eagles to well below their 3.12 goals-per-game this season.
Both BC goals came on penalty corners. The first came 14:44 into the game on the Eagles’ fourth corner. Crandall made the initial save on a direct shot, but the ball was popped up into the air. Midfielder Bronwen Kelly was waiting at the left post and swatted the loose ball in to give BC the early lead.
The second goal came on the last BC corner with 7:30 left in the game. Crandall and Hudson combined to stop two shots, but Kelly was there to put the third rebound in for her second goal of the day.
Topp led the Bulldogs with five shots, several of which nearly went in for Yale scores.
Despite the loss, the Elis were happy with their ability to stick with the strong BC squad, especially after the tough loss Friday.
“We get a couple of lucky bounces here and there and it’s a different game,” Howell said. “I’m proud of how we hung with the No. 11 team in the country.”
BC head coach Sherren Granese also said the Elis played hard enough to scare the Eagles.
“Yale worked really hard and put a lot of pressure on us,” she said. “We weren’t as sharp as we usually are.”
In their last home game of the season, the Bulldogs said they were proud of their play and the fact that they did not give up despite no longer being in contention to make the ECAC tournament or win the Ivy League title.
“We wanted to leave everything on the field,” Topp said. “We gave it a lot of heart, we gave it everything we could, and we walked off the field with our heads high.”
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