After a bit of “soul searching,” as head coach Rudy Meredith said, the Bulldogs have focused on individual responsibilities to put the team back on track for a successful season.
The Elis have the opportunity to test their reevaluated skills and reignited drive when they step onto Charles F. Berman Field at Cornell this Saturday.
The Big Red have picked up momentum in the past couple of games despite a sluggish 0–10 start, tying Harvard 1–1 and defeating Lafayette 4–1. The Bulldogs, however were on a three-game hot streak — including an 8–1 trouncing of Saint Peters — before going cold the past three games at the start of Ivy League competition.
The contest against Cornell will be yet another game won with heart.
“We will have to match their intensity the entire game,” Meredith said. “There may be no superstars, but they all work for each other and those teams are tougher to beat.”
Cornell (1–10–1, 0–2–1 Ivy) plays the collaborative style that Yale (5–6, 0–3 Ivy) also touts on the field. While Cornell has had 12 players contribute goals and assists this season, Yale has had 13.
Meredith said it has been easier to defend a team with one or two superstars than a well-rounded team like Cornell. To prepare for their upcoming match, the Bulldogs have been working on more team defense and one-on-one play.
Yale has also been striving for consistency.
“We need to play well for 90 minutes,” Meredith said. “Our focus needs to be on having one complete game.”
While the Elis were able to pull together a strong second half after readjusting their formation and focusing on an attack against Dartmouth last week, 45 minutes was not enough to reverse the scoreboard.
“We got off to a slow start and as a result Dartmouth got a few good scoring opportunities early,” forward Anne Song ’13 said. “It gave them confidence early in the game.”
For the Elis, midfielder Kristen Forster ’13 remains the leading scorer with six goals and three assists for 15 points — the third most in the Ivy League. Cornell’s leading scorer, Maneesha Chitanvis, has four goals and two assists on the season, making her the league’s 8th leading scorer. This past week, Chitanvis was also recognized on ivyleaguesports.com as the player of the week.
On the other end of the field in net, the Big Red differ substantially from the Bulldogs. Cornell’s Tori Christ has started 11 of 12 games and has a 2.52 goals against average. Rachel Ames ’16 has stepped in as the Bulldogs’ starter since Adele Jackson–Gibson ’13 was sidelined early in the season due to an injury and has started five of the nine games she has played in, making 30 saves for a 1.30 goals against average.
Yale will go toe-to-toe with the Big Red at 4:00 pm on Saturday.