As Ithaca gets colder and colder this winter, the Yale women’s soccer team gets further and further from its goal and from where the team knows it deserves to be.
Last Saturday, the Elis (6-6-1, 2-2 Ivy) handed Cornell (2-9-1, 1-3) its first victory, 3-1. Upsetting the Bulldogs gave the Big Red its first win after a nine-game losing streak.
After a deadlocked first half, the Elis were unable to stop the Big Red, who had not previously won in Ivy competition, from scoring two more goals in the second.
“[Cornell was] more intense and had more passion in the first 15 minutes, which set a tone for the rest of the game,” Yale head coach Rudy Meredith said.
Despite the loss, team members said the Big Red didn’t bring anything unexpected. With Ivy competition so difficult all-around, the team had prepared for the worst, in spite of Cornell’s weak season record, forward Crysti Howser ’09 said.
“It was just a matter of us not being on the same page,” she said. “We did not bring our best effort.”
The problems in the Elis’ play on Saturday are fixable, Meredith said. Having shown consistent skill and effort throughout the season, the main focus of the rest of the season will be making sure those abilities translate into games, he said.
“It’s like a jigsaw puzzle. The pieces are there, but we need to figure out how they work together,” Meredith said. “We have all the talent. We’re just waiting for the moment that it will click.”
Perhaps even more upsetting than the outcome of the game was losing first-string goalie Susan Starr ’08, who was injured just 7:31 into play. After making three saves in less than eight minutes, Starr collided with Big Red forward Eva Dixon, who was on a breakaway towards the Yale goal.
Although Starr was able to stymie Dixon’s attempt, she fell backward and hit the back of her head. She was taken out for the rest of the game.
Cornell’s on-sight medical care declared it a mild concussion, but Starr, who said she has had mild concussions before, will seek another opinion from her physician today. She said she was confident about playing in the Penn game next weekend.
Despite losing two Ivy games, the Elis are not out of reach of a league title, Meredith said. Dartmouth (9-3-1, 4-0), to whom the Bulldogs lost two weeks ago, controls the Ivy League right now.
“It all depends on how Dartmouth does,” Starr said. “If they lose, we are in. Hopefully we can get some luck for the other teams [to beat the Big Green].”
With past defeats behind them, the Elis are looking forward to hosting Penn (7-4-1, 1-3) next Saturday, followed by Quinnipiac the following Wednesday.
“We need both wins,” Howser said. “Just to get the last part of the season back on track to show how well we can bounce back.”