The Elis (2–3) struggled to find their rhythm on the road last weekend and fell to two Chicago teams despite second half surges.
After a 2–1 loss to the Loyola Ramblers (3–4) on Friday and a 2–0 loss to the Northwestern Wildcats (4–2–1) on Sunday, the Bulldogs return to campus to focus on their upcoming conference opponents.
Facing off in Loyola Soccer Park, the Ramblers started the game with aggressive offensive play and controlled possession for most of the first half. With veteran Yale goalkeeper Adele Jackson-Gibson ’13 sidelined due to an ACL tear, Elise Wilcox ’15 and Rachel Ames ’16 split playing time in her place. Wilcox had a total of five saves this weekend and Ames made three.
“Losing Adele was tough on the team, but we will bounce back as other players are being forced to step up,” head coach Rudy Meredith said.
Jackson-Gibson was out for most of last season with a dislocated shoulder, and Wilcox started six matches in her stead.
With 15 minutes left in the first half of the Loyola game, sophomore Sammy Gage found the back of the net and put a point on the board for the Ramblers. They entered halftime leading Yale 4–2 in shots.
Hoping for a comeback, the Elis brought some momentum in the second half and took five shots on goal. In all five games this season, Yale has been slow to get going on offense.
“Right now, we’re having trouble starting off the game.” Meredith said. “It’s as if we are in the Indy 500 and the flag goes up to signal the start, and others move but we don’t react.”
Kristen Forster ’13 balanced the score at the 70 minute mark with an uplifting goal off a cross from forward Paula Hagopian ’16.
With the game deadlocked at 1-1, Ames was able to fend off multiple Loyola attempts outside the 18, and the Bulldogs headed into overtime.
But three minutes into the second contentious overtime, Loyola senior Ana Claudia Michelini headed in the game-winning goal. The Ramblers outshot the Elis 5–0 in the overtime periods.
At Northwestern, the Bulldogs also came out slow, and the Wildcats took advantage of the early lull by knocking in two goals within a four-minute period midway through the first half.
With a surge of second half energy, Melissa Gavin ’15 took two of Yale’s three shots on goal for the half, but none found the back of the net.
Over the course of the game, Northwestern, a Big Ten conference member, outshot Yale 14-6.
Team members said they viewed this weekend as a learning experience for future games, particularly for when they take on Ivy League powerhouse Princeton on Sept. 22.
“We realized that we have a lot of potential, but need to play more as a unit. We found that we can definitely do that if we put our minds to it.” Gavin said. “We’re trying out different people in different positions in order to figure out who we are as a team.”
The Bulldogs will continue non-conference play this Tuesday against Saint Peter’s University.
Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. at Reese Stadium.