Only managing one goal — and that courtesy of the other team’s defense — and then losing in overtime may not appear to be a stepping stone to Ivy League glory. But the women’s soccer team can take solace in playing a nationally-ranked team tight for nearly 100 minutes as it prepares to jump back into conference play.
The women’s soccer team lost 2-1 in overtime to No. 12 Boston University last night in Boston. Although the Elis (4-4-1, 1-0 Ivy) dominated play for much of the game, the heavily-favored Terriers (8-2-1) were able to pull out the win on a Farrell McLernon goal 7:46 into overtime. Team members were disappointed with the result, but pleased with their overall play.
“We should have won this game,” captain Christina Huang ’07 said. “We were definitely the better team on the field tonight.”
BU scored first when Casey Brown found the net in the 14th minute off a blast from outside the penalty box. Yale answered late in the first half. Forward Maggie Westfal ’09 brought the ball up the right side of the field and sent in a cross intended for forward Emma Whitfield ’09. The pass instead found the legs of a Boston defender who, while attempting to clear the ball, deflected it into her own net.
With the teams knotted up at 1-1 near the end of the second half, Whitfield nearly won the game. Her shot from inside the penalty box sailed just over the upper-left corner of the goalpost.
“It was frustrating because throughout the game everything leading up to the shots was so good,” Whitfield said. “We strung our passes together really well, but when it came time to score we just couldn’t put the ball away.”
Missed opportunity was a recurring theme in the players’ comments after the game.
“We had our chances,” Westfal said. “If even one had gone our way, we would have pulled through.”
Yale head coach Rudy Meredith expressed disappointment with his team’s inability to put the game away.
“I thought it never should have gone into overtime,” he said.
The Bulldogs failed to muster much offense in the extra period. They were outshot 3-0 before the Terriers put the game away with a final goal in the 98th minute.
Westfal said the Elis did not have enough left in the tank after 90 minutes.
“They came out in overtime with a little more energy than us,” she said. “I was more tired than I had been at any point in the second half.”
Despite the loss, a feeling of optimism prevailed after the game. Meredith was particularly pleased with the performance of defensive midfielder Sophia Merrifield ’10.
“She settled the game down and gave us composure in the midfield,” he said.
Huang said she saw the game as a valuable building block heading into Ivy League play.
Next up for the Elis is Saturday’s game at Harvard. A victory there would give the team a valuable leg up in Ivy League competition, which forward Mimi Macauley ’07 said is the team’s undisputed focus.
“Winning the Ivy League is our goal and we’re still on track to do that,” she said.