It all comes down to tomorrow.
The Yale women’s soccer team will have one last chance to earn a share of the Ivy League title when it takes on Brown on Saturday — a shot that also depends on Harvard’s performance against Columbia the same day.
The Bulldogs (9–6, 4–2 Ivy) currently sit in second place in the Ancient Eight standings, just behind the Crimson.
Harvard has clinched a share of the Ivy title and an automatic NCAA bid by virtue of its head-to-head advantage over the Elis in the event that the two teams tie for first in the conference. If the Crimson lose and the Elis win, the teams would share the 2009 crown, but Harvard would win out thanks to its 3–2 win over Yale on Oct. 20.
“It’s a situation you don’t want to be in,” head coach Rudy Meredith said, adding that Yale certainly has a chance to tie for the title.
“I think there is a lot of parity in our league so teams have beat each other up, and that’s a good thing in our situation,” he said. “Everybody is capable of beating anybody in this league.”
The competitiveness of the Ivy League was apparent last weekend — at the Bulldogs’ expense. Yale was tied for first in the conference with Harvard before the Elis’ match against Columbia last Saturday, but dropped to second place after a tough 1–0 loss to the Lions.
Tomorrow Yale will compete against the Bears (5–8–1, 2–4) on home turf, where the Eli squad holds a 7–3 record this season.
“With Brown, they haven’t given up a lot of goals in league play,” Meredith said. “We’ve been focusing on offense all week because they’ve been a really tough team to score against. They have experienced goalkeepers and good defense.”
It will not be an easy match, as the injury-riddled Bulldog squad is still struggling to put together a healthy lineup, Meredith said.
The Elis have competed with just 16 to 17 healthy field players in the last few matches, but Meredith said the numbers have dropped to only 14 or 15 for the Brown contest.
Saturday’s competition also marks the final regular season match for seniors Caitlin Collins ’10, Sophia Merrifield ’10, Leslie Perez ’10 and Hannah Smith ’10. For Collins, the game promises to be a tough experience, she said.
“I would stay and play forever if I could,” she said. “I’m still a little bit in denial that it’s actually my last game. I’m sure I’ll be playing the game and still be in denial.”
Perez added: “This season has been my favorite season so far. Last year’s season felt like forever, and this one has just flown by.”
The senior foursome will be honored before the 7 p.m. kickoff.