As the women’s soccer team gears up for its pair of away games this weekend, it is looking to make the most of nonconference play. The Bulldogs (2–1) will head to Chicago, Ill. to face the Loyola Ramblers (1–4) on Friday night and the Northwestern University Wildcats (2–2–1) on Sunday afternoon.

The Bulldogs will not see their first Ivy League matchup until Sept. 22, when they take on Princeton.

“We have a lot of great players this year, but it’s still early in the season,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “I’m hoping that these games will give us an opportunity to really start playing together, as one team.”

Yale is heading to Chicago with some confidence following a 3–0 defeat over Sacred Heart earlier this week. Forward Melissa Gavin ’15 and midfielder Muriel Battaglia ’15 both had second-half goals on Tuesday night leading the Bulldogs to victory.

“Our team has plenty of young talent, and we are hoping to pull off both wins,” Meredith said. He added that it is difficult to predict the outcome for this weekend’s matchups because the team has some external factors working against it, including long hours spent traveling and having to play two games within 48 hours of each other.

Gavin will be a key player to watch. She was Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2011 and has been a consistent scorer for the Bulldogs since last season.

Goalkeeper Adele Jackson-Gibson ’13 continues to lead the team as well, with three game starts and a 1.35 goals-against average this year. She left the victory over Sacred Heart with an injury, however.

Loyola will enter its home opener coming off of a four-game losing streak over the past few weeks, most recently falling to Northern Illinois. Junior midfielder Trisha Stonebraker is the team’s sole scorer this season, with one goal. The Ramblers have been unsuccessful on the road, suffering through four straight shutouts. Yale and Loyola have not faced each other in regular season competition in nearly a decade.

Northwestern will be taking on the Bulldogs after its recent 2–2 double overtime deadlock with the University of Colorado. Junior Kate Allen and sophomore Georgia Waddle are the Wildcats’ leading scorers with three goals apiece.

Kickoff against Loyola is set for 8 p.m. Eastern time on Friday night at the Loyola Soccer Park. Yale will then travel across the city to play Northwestern at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.