The women’s soccer team suffered its first losses of the season this weekend, falling to two Big East opponents on the road.
The Bulldogs (1–2–2) lost at Rutgers, 1–0, (4–2) on Friday night before dropping a 2–1 contest at St. John’s (4–2–2) on Sunday. Rutgers’ offense outperformed Yale, outshooting the Elis 15 to five. The Bulldogs fared better against St. John’s with eight shots to the Red Storm’s nine and a 1–0 lead for most of the game, but a late St. John’s rally gave the Red Storm the 2–1 victory.
Despite the losses, midfielder Enma Mullo ’12 said the Elis performed well.
“I think that every game we’ve been playing we’ve been getting better,” Mullo said. “We played really well against Rutgers, and I think we played even better against St. John’s, so we’re definitely improving.”
The Bulldogs began their roadtrip in New Jersey against Rutgers.
The only goal of the game came from Rutgers midfielder Stefanee Pace, who scored in the 14th minute. Pace came down the right side of the field and lifted a ball over the head of goalkeeper Adele Jackson-Gibson ’13 and into the bottom left corner of the net to give the Scarlet Knights a 1–0 lead.
“Their goal was one of the luckiest goals ever,” Mullo said. “She had a terrible angle and tried to cross the ball and it went into the net.”
The Bulldogs had a chance to score at the 25:09 mark when forward Melissa Gavin ’15 fired a shot, but Rutgers goalkeeper Emmy Simpkins was there to make the save.
The Scarlet Knights outshot the Bulldogs nine to two in the second half, but Jackson-Gibson did not allow another goal, stopping a season-high 10 shots in the contest. Overall, Rutgers outshot the Elis 15 to five.
The Elis nearly knotted the contest in the 72nd minute when a shot from Georgiana Wagemann ’15 hit the post and deflected to Meredith Speck ’15, but her shot went high over the net.
Despite the fact that it was Yale’s first loss of the season, Head coach Rudy Meredith said he was pleased with the team’s performance. He highlighted the play of the Yale back line, especially Trish Berkanish ‘13 and Torrey Leroy ‘13, who he said “played some of their best soccer.”
“I’m pretty happy with our performance, especially in the first half,” Meredith said. “I thought we changed formations a little bit, and I felt like the kids actually played pretty well.”
The Bulldogs hit the road again on Sunday when they traveled to Queens, N.Y. to face St. John’s. Though the Elis held a 1–0 lead through the first half, the Red Storm scored two late goals to come away with a 2-1 win.
St. John’s had the advantage of being well rested, as they had not played in a week. The Elis, on the other hand, played on Tuesday and Friday night, which Meredith said became a factor down the stretch.
“I actually thought this was probably our best game this season,” he said. “We played very well in the first half, and we played pretty good in the second half too, but we got tired. They’re a little bit more rested than us, so I was happy with our performance.”
The Bulldogs controlled the ball throughout the first half with a 6–3 edge in shots.
Yale struck first with a goal from forward Melissa Gavin ’15 in the 28th minute. After St. John’s goalkeeper Kristin Russell kicked the ball out to a defender in the box, Gavin stole the pass and buried it into the back left of the net to give the Elis a 1–0 advantage. It was her first career goal.
“It was nice to get my first goal,” Gavin said. “It would have been nicer if we had won, but it was just nice to get it.”
The Bulldogs held their lead for the rest of the first half and through the beginning of the second half, but as the game went on, the Elis began to fatigue, opening up chances for St. John’s.
“The first 70 minutes we definitely had them,” Mullo said. “We had them on their heels, and then we just got tired. We were really tired, and it showed that there was such a big difference in the last quarter of the game.”
Midfielder Jen Gibbons scored the equalizer for the Red Storm in the 65th minute after she took a cross from Jen Leaverton and shot it into the back of the net.
St. John’s seized the lead thirteen minutes later on a goal from Leaverton and held onto it for the remainder of the game.
The Red Storm outshot the Bulldogs 6-2 after halftime.
The Bulldogs will be back in action on Tuesday when they take on cross-town rival Quinnipiac.
“I think on Tuesday, we’re going to have to fight hard to try to get a win,” Meredith said. “We’ve been playing well, but we need to get a win to show how well we’ve been playing, so that’s going to be our priority.”
Kickoff against the Bobcats is slated for 7 p.m. at Reese Stadium.