For the women’s soccer team, good things seem to come in threes.
The Bulldogs (4-4, 0-0 Ivy) have won all of their last three games, posted three consecutive shutouts and bested their opponents in all three of their matches at Reese Stadium this season. The squad kept its winning streak alive last night with a 1-0 victory over Boston University (3-5-1). With the win, the Elis even their record to .500, providing them with a fresh slate as they prepare for their Ivy opener this weekend.
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“We’re happy to get away with a win and a shutout,” defender Ali Giusto ’10 said. “I think we played a lot better than we played on Sunday. We’re really coming together as a team.”
In a game that followed a similar arc to Sunday’s road win over Central Connecticut State University, the Bulldogs put one away early in the first half and clung to that 1-0 lead for the rest of the game to eke by the Terriers. Forward Maggie Westfal ’09 — who had the lone goal against CCSU as well — put the ball away off a give-and-go from forward Becky Brown ’11 at 13:34. The Elis then settled in and kept the Terriers at bay for the remaining 76 minutes, generating opportunities on offense but failing to score again.
Midfielder Natalia Mann ’09 had some of the Elis’ best attempts as the game progressed, although she was stopped by BU goalie Janie Reilly, who finished with seven saves. The closest either squad came to getting on the board again came in the 85th minute of the game, when BU’s Marisha Schumacher-Hodge lofted a high direct kick at the Bulldog goal. But goalkeeper Ayana Sumiyasu ’11 was there to tip the ball over the crossbar, and the Terriers failed to capitalize on the subsequent corner kick. That would prove to be BU’s last opportunity of the day, as the Bulldogs buckled down after the near miss and prevented the Terriers from getting another look.
Although the Bulldogs were pleased to get a win, their narrow lead meant that the squad could not relax until the final whistle blew. Captain Mary Kuder ’08 said the Bulldogs’ recent pattern — scoring one goal early on and then holding on to that lead for the rest of the game — puts a different kind of pressure on the Yale defense that is not ideal.
But there is no doubt that the win puts the Elis in a good position as they head into this weekend. Head coach Rudy Meredith said this week, during which the Elis play three games in seven days, is “probably our toughest stretch of the season,” culminating on Saturday night with the squad’s Ivy League opener against Harvard (5-2-1).
The Crimson have had more success generating offense than the Elis have so far this season, although yesterday’s win against BU — the same result that the Cantabs posted — suggests that the game will be a close one. Over the next few days, the Bulldogs will look to figure out how to stop the potent Harvard offense without taking too much away from the talented Eli defense.
“We have to come up with a game plan to shut them down,” Meredith said.