Yale’s highest-scoring game of the season did not cast a spotlight on any one player, as more than half the starting lineup scored against Saint Peter’s on Tuesday.
After a brief battle for consistent control at the beginning of the game, the women’s soccer team (3–3, 0–0 Ivy) dominated the Saint Peter’s Peacocks (1–7) in an 8–1 shellacking at Reese Stadium. Seven Elis scored goals, and Mary Kubiuk ’14 led the team with two. The Bulldogs improved to 2–0 at home so far this season.
“I’m happy that we had seven different people score — that’s unusual in a game,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “Seven goals in a soccer game is uncommon, let alone having seven different scorers.”
The Elis protected their territory from the Peacocks and kept the ball in the midfield and offensive zone for most of the game. During the first half, Yale granted the Peacocks only 4 shots and no corner kicks. Muriel Battaglia ’15 initiated scoring after a scramble in front of the Peacocks’ net, fighting through Peacock defenders to pound in a header off a well-placed corner kick by Frannie Coxe ’15.
The Peacocks followed the Bulldogs’ first mark on the scoreboard with a short surge of ferocity, a fast break up the field and a hard blast on net from a distance. But goalkeeper Elise Wilcox ’15 crushed their momentum with a huge, diving save, and the Elis took off running.
“We kept it simple, kept our players wide and spread out their defense,” Anne Song ’13 said. “That was the key to our scoring.”
With five minutes left in the first half, Song stepped up and intercepted a pass between two opposing team members. Song sent the ball upfield to Georgiana Wagemann ’15, who slid an area pass to Kristen Forster ’13. Forster booted the ball past the Peacocks’ aggressive goalkeeper for Yale’s second goal.
Just minutes later, Song stepped up to intercept a pass and again threaded the ball between the opposition downfield to Forster, who tapped it over to Kubiuk. The forward fought past a defender and chipped the ball over the fingers of the goalkeeper to put the Bulldogs up 3–0 at the end of the half.
Frustrated by the three-goal margin at the half, St. Peter’s came out with fire in their bellies at the start at the second half. The Peacocks were all over the field, at first trying to control the ball, only to relinquish possession after a few minutes.
With the ball back in their hands, the Bulldogs prepared to finish off the Peacocks with 37 minutes left in the game. Meredith Speck ’15 picked off another Peacock pass and sent it over to Forster in front of the net. Forster blazed by the last defender left in the Peacocks’ offside trap formation and beat the goalie. She sent a quick dish over to Melissa Gavin ’15, who tapped the ball into the net to put Yale up 4–0. Just four minutes later, the Bulldogs put away their fifth goal, and two minutes later they took a tenable 6–0 lead.
With 22 minutes left, the Peacocks finally came through with a goal off their first corner kick.
But the moment of success was short-lived as the Bulldogs lined up for the kickoff. Juliann Jeffrey ’14 blazed down the field and shot a precise pass from Paula Hagopian ’16 into the back of the net to restore Yale’s six-goal lead.
Kubiuk added one more goal for good measure with 38 seconds left to bring the final score to 8–1.
“It was great to get another win at home before Ivies start,” Song said.
Yale will kick off Ivy League competition against Princeton on Sept. 22 at Reese Stadium.