It seemed only fitting that on Senior Night, midfielder Enma Mullo ’12 provided the game-winning goal in the women’s soccer team’s match against Brown at Reese Stadium.
In her final game in the Blue and White on Saturday, Mullo scored in the 39th minute to give the Elis (9–5–3, 4–2–1 Ivy) a 1–0 lead that would hold up despite constant Brown (10–5–2, 3–3–1) attacks in the second half. Mullo and captain Miyuki Hino ’12, who missed all season because of a torn ACL, were both honored prior to kickoff.
“It’s a great way to end the season for our team, and especially for Enma and Miyuki, so I was very happy with that,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “I was happy for Enma, and I’m happy with our kids’ effort today. They didn’t give up.”
The game capped a stellar senior campaign for Mullo, as she led the team with eight goals and 20 points — both career highs.
Mullo said she has yet to fully realize that her college soccer career has come to a close.
“I don’t think it’s hit me yet,” Mullo said. “I still feel like I’m going to have a day off tomorrow and come out to practice. I’m just really happy that we won.”
During the first half, the Elis controlled possession and outshot the Bears 12–5.
The Bulldogs generated an early chance just 12 minutes into the game after Mullo sent in a corner kick that hit the crossbar. The rebound found midfielder Meredith Speck ’15, but Speck’s header went just wide of the net.
The Bears had a dangerous chance of their own at the 17:38 mark, when forward Chloe Cross took a pass from forward Eliza Marshall and unleashed a shot that forced rookie goalkeeper Elise Wilcox ’15 to dive to her right to make the save. Wilcox finished with 10 saves to post her first career Ivy League shutout and her third shutout for Yale.
While Brown also did not give up a goal into well into the first half, the defense struggled to clear the ball past midfield. The Elis came close to getting on the board in the 28th minute after forward Melissa Gavin ’15 came down the far side, cut in and fired a shot that hit the crossbar. The rebound deflected to forward Mary Kubiuk ‘13, but her shot also bounced off the crossbar and was cleared by the Brown defense.
But the Bulldogs finally capitalized in the 39th minute with Mullo’s eighth goal of the year. Gavin set up the goal by playing a through ball ahead for Mullo, who sped past the Bears’ back line and dribbled into the box before blasting a shot into the upper right corner of the net.
“I kind of just kicked [the ball] through hoping someone would get there, and Enma got there and made a really nice shot,” Gavin said.
Still, Brown came out stronger after halftime and outplayed Yale for the remainder of the match with an 11–3 edge in shots in the second half.
The Bears had a golden opportunity to equalize in the 47th minute when a Yale foul gave them a free kick just outside the box, but midfielder Sarah Hebert–Seropian’s shot sailed just above the crossbar.
Seconds later, a turnover in the box gave Brown another chance. Cross rocketed a shot towards the net, but Wilcox dove to her right and pushed it wide to keep the Bears off the board.
Yale appeared to get an insurance goal in the 55th minute after Mullo fired a shot that Brown goalkeeper MC Barrett stopped but could not secure. The deflection allowed Kubiuk to slip the rebound into the back of the net. But the referee nullified the play with an offside call to keep Yale’s advantage at 1–0.
“We didn’t capitalize on the opportunities we had,” Mullo said. “If we had gotten a second [goal], I think [the Bears] would’ve slowed down. But they thought they could win it, so they kept coming after us.”
In the last 10 minutes of the game, the Bears began pressuring the Elis’ defense with flip throw-ins from defender Alison Mullin. In the 77th minute, Mullin sent a throw-in into the box for forward Emily Wingrove, but her header went wide of the net.
Gavin said she hadn’t been expecting flip throw-ins during the last 10 minutes of the game and said Yale was lucky the Bears did not score on them.