After a week of chocolate-covered strawberries and relief following the women’s soccer team’s first Ancient Eight win this season, the Elis this weekend will strive to keep the ball rolling and pick up another confidence-building Ivy win. Needing three tries to earn its first conference victory, Yale (6-5-1, 1-2 Ivy) needs to take care of business against a rebuilding Cornell team (1-8-1, 0-3 Ivy).
Saturday’s trip to Ithaca, N.Y., will be the last away game in a stretch of three straight Ivy road games and will test the Elis’ mental resolve. After all, Cornell does not have a very impressive record and is currently winless in the Ivies at the bottom of the league. However, Yale should take care not to underestimate the Big Red. Although Cornell has been in an offensive rut on its current five-game losing streak, its defense is anchored by a trio of goalkeepers who combine for a .737 save percentage.
However, Yale is not without its own strengths. Miyuki Hino ’12, fresh from being named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week, will join Emma Whitfield ’09, Maggie Westfal ’09 and Becky Brown ’11 in an offense that ranks among the best in the Ivy League, scoring 22 goals over 12 games while allowing just 14 goals. Westfal has previously been named Ivy League Player of the Week, and Brown’s nine assists this season are nearly a Yale record, tied for second most in a season. Goalikeeper Ayana Sumiyasu ’11, who was also named Ivy League Player of the Week, anchors a strong defense for the Bulldogs.
On the trip to Ithaca this weekend, the main goal is simply to continue playing their game and avoid a crippling letdown. At 1-2 in the Ivy League, Yale can ill afford another loss if it is to win the Ivy League title.
“Right now, we have to do whatever we need to win,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “When you’re on the field, you have to work as hard as you can because every game matters.”