After a heated overtime battle against Manhattan on Sunday that resulted in the first loss on the season, the Yale women’s soccer team came back with a vengeance against St. Peter’s on Tuesday night, taking down the Peacocks 5–1.
Three different Elis got in for the five-goal game, which was the largest margin of victory for the Yale squad in two years.
The Bulldogs did not play St. Peter’s last year, so scouting reports were essential heading into the game.
“Whenever we play a team, our coaches watch film of them beforehand,” forward Melissa Gavin ’15 said.
The game started with a bang for the Bulldogs, with rookie midfielder Sarah McCauley ’18 scoring off an assist from Gavin only four minutes into the game. McCauley, who scored the winning goal against Western Kentucky on Friday, Sept. 12, showed her skills as a newcomer to the team. She scored again just ten minutes later, this time assisted by both Gavin and Shannon Conneely ’16. At 14:04, the Elis were already ahead by two.
Scoring that early in the game gave St. Peter’s plenty of time to strike back, so the Bulldogs stayed grounded. Yale took multiple shots on goal and corner kicks before the entire starting lineup except the goalkeeper, Rachel Ames ’16, was switched out.
For the rest of the first half, the Bulldogs kept applying pressure, taking ten shots compared to one by St. Peter’s. One of the shots resulted in another Yale goal, this time by midfielder Geny Decker ’17. Midfielder Frannie Coxe ’15 passed the ball to Decker, who sunk the shot into the right side of the net, increasing Yale’s score to three with another half still to play.
The start of the second half saw many more substitutions for Yale, this time including the goalkeeper, as Elise Wilcox ’15 took to guarding the goal. The Elis were off to another quick start as Gavin and forward Karina Kovalcik ’17 assisted defender Ana Keusch ’16 on a goal, raising the score to 4–0 at 49:39. Keusch’s shot struck the crossbar, bouncing off the post and into the goal.
The rest of the game went poorly for St. Peter’s, with multiple fouls marring the second half, as well as many missed shots by the Peacocks. At 63:44, the beating took a turn for the worst, when one of the St. Peter’s defenders knocked the ball into her own goal, increasing Yale’s margin to 5–0.
Twenty-five more minutes of play saw many more Yale substitutions and many more shots on goal for the Elis. The bright spot of the game for St. Peter’s came with only a minute and a half left, when Carlee Conzalez scored to keep St. Peter’s from being shut out.
After such a sound victory, the Bulldogs are looking ahead to their game at Hofstra on Friday, Sept. 19, Yale’s first out-of-state game of the season.
Ames said that a little more focus will be needed at Hofstra, as they will have the home field advantage, though the Bulldogs’ mindsets will be the same as they have been for the past games.
The Elis also have their first Ivy League game coming up next week, when they face off against Princeton at Reese Stadium.
“We have [two] games before Princeton and are working on one game at a time,” said Gavin. “We are playing to win every game and hope that by the time Ivy League play comes around we will be comfortable with each other and the system we are using.”
The Bulldogs head to Hofstra on Friday for a 7:00 p.m. kick-off.