In a rivalry as heated as that between Harvard and Yale, the only thing more agonizing than losing may be missing an opportunity to go home with a win. The Yale women’s soccer team experienced this first-hand, as the Bulldogs suffered a 2–1 loss despite outplaying the Crimson in Cambridge.
“Obviously there was a lot of frustration because we lost to a team that we felt we outplayed the majority of the game,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “And it was Harvard.”
Early on, Yale looked poised to beat up on their Ancient Eight rivals, taking five shots in the first 12 minutes. Yet while the Bulldogs could not capitalize on their early chances, the Crimson did, taking advantage of a corner kick in the 14th minute to take an early 1–0 lead. It was the 46th corner kick yielded by the Elis this season.
“It’s just frustrating because in the first 15 minutes of the game we were clearly the better team, and then we were down a goal,” Meredith said. “We had to end up chasing the game and we were down a goal and deserved to at least be even.”
That goal remained the deficit for the rest of the first half, as Yale couldn’t net any of their 10chances in the first half to tie things up.
“We should have been up at least 4–0 at halftime,” Mary Kubiuk ’13 said of the Bulldogs’ futile first-half onslaught. “We had so many missed opportunities in that game it was unbelievable.”
The frustration mounted for Yale early in the second half as Harvard’s Alexandra Conigliaro was taken down in the box, and snuck her resulting penalty kick past Ayana Sumiyasu ’11 to increase the Bulldogs’ deficit to two. Sumiyasu finished the day with six saves.
The score remained 2–0 until the 87th minute, when Kubiuk was finally able to get Yale on the board, but hers was the only one of Yale’s 22 shots to find the back of the netand the game finished 2–1.
“It was kind of like the same thing that happened against Princeton, we just couldn’t finish our chances,” Emna Mullo ’12. Yale lost its conference opener to the Tigers 1–0. “We’re keeping our heads up because the Ivy League is such a crazy league where if you have two losses you can still compete for the title. We just have to focus on finishing.”
The Bulldogs will be looking to get back in the win column when they travel to St. Peter’s Tuesday for a non-conference matchup. That game will serve as a tune-up for the rest of the Ivy League season, as Yale travels to Dartmouth Saturday and to Cornell the week after that. The Bulldogs will need to finish strong to have any chance at the Ivy League title, having lost their first two games, though the losseswere at the hands of the league’s top two teams.
“The only thing we can control right now is that we can try to run the table, but we can’t afford a tie,” Coach Meredith said. “We have to win every game. I think the league is so close — the ability of everybody is so close — that other team are going to lose games too. The bottom line is that we did not finish our chances to score in this game.”