The Yale and Columbia women’s soccer teams entered the weekend with identical league records. But after facing off in a 110-minute battle, their league records remain identical, as the Bulldogs (8-5-3, 3-2-1 Ivy) and Lions (6-9-1, 3-2-1) played to a 2-2 draw on Sunday night at Columbia Soccer Stadium.
Following a scoreless first half, Yale scored midway through the second half to seize a 1-0 lead, but then saw it erased on a pair of goals from Columbia forward Ashlin Yahr. Still, the Bulldogs fought back and knotted the contest when midfielder Enma Mullo ’12 scored a goal with just eight minutes left to force the game into overtime.
Though the scoreboard did not reflect it, Yale outplayed Columbia throughout the first half and outshot its rival, 12-2. Despite dominating possession, Mullo said the Bulldogs struggled to generate quality scoring opportunities because the Lions’ back line prevented them from getting past the 18-yard box.
“I think we were just shooting from so far away,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “We weren’t getting shots on goal because we were basically shooting from the parking lot.”
But the Bulldogs adjusted after halftime and finally struck in the 62nd minute with forward Melissa Gavin’s ’15 sixth goal of the year. Gavin took a cross from Meredith Speck ’15 and fired it into the back of the net to put Yale on the board, 1-0.
But the Bulldogs’ lead was short-lived as Columbia responded just 1:08 later with a goal from Yahr. Defender Shannon FitzPatrick played a ball ahead of Yahr, who earned a one-on-one with Bulldog goalkeeper Elise Wilcox ’15 and converted to knot the contest.
“[Columbia’s] first goal was really questionable,” Mullo said. “Our whole back line was up, and [Yahr] was all alone in no man’s land. Everyone assumed she was offside because she was all alone, and the ref didn’t call it. It was pretty weird.”
Three minutes later, Yahr netted her second goal of the night to give the Lions a 2-1 lead. Yahr took a feed from Marissa Schultz and finished with a strike from 15 yards out.
But the Bulldogs fought back and scored the equalizer in the 82nd minute after Gavin connected with Mullo, who then drilled a 20-yard shot past Columbia goalkeeper Lillian Klein.
“I think that we did a good job of staying in the game and not getting frustrated,” Gavin said. “We showed a lot of urgency in the second half.”
The final eight minutes of regulation were scoreless, forcing the game into overtime.
Forward Mary Kubiuk ’13 had a chance to end the game just 23 seconds into the extra period, but her 20-yard attempt was saved by Klein.
Columbia countered in the second overtime with a shot from Yahr, but Wilcox turned it aside to keep the game deadlocked.
With just 2:15 left on the clock, the stadium lights turned off, stopping play for 15 minutes.
“That was probably the most entertaining part of the match,” Meredith said. “Our kids were dancing like they were at Toad’s, so it was pretty funny.”
Though Gavin managed to get one last shot off in the final minute of overtime, Klein was there to make the save, ending the Bulldogs’ final road game of the year in a tie.
The Elis close out their season on Saturday when they host Brown on Senior Night. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m. at Reese Stadium.