The defense showed its worth for the Yale women’s soccer team when it managed to hold Harvard to a 0–0 draw that went into double overtime on Saturday in Cambridge.
The Bulldogs (5–3–1, 0–1–1 Ivy) played their hearts out against the Crimson (6–2–2, 1–0–1 Ivy), with the defense shining — especially goalkeeper Elise Wilcox ’15, who saved all four shots on goal. Harvard managed to do the same, producing three saves to keep the Elis from scoring at all in the 110-minute match.
“We really needed a win yesterday to knock Harvard down a few points and to gain them ourselves,” said Shannon Conneely ’16, “But a tie keeps us alive, so we are content.”
Harvard, the defending Ivy League champions, had a tough fight against the Bulldogs. Midfielder Geny Decker ’17, forward Melissa Gavin ’15 and midfielder Muriel Battaglia ’15 led the charge for Yale, taking five shots and three corner kicks in the first thirty minutes of the game.
Harvard’s first shot on goal came in the 29th minute, but was stopped by Wilcox. The Crimson managed to finish the half with a strong showing, taking multiple shots and corner kicks before Battaglia attempted another header to end the first forty-five minutes of action.
The second half finished in similar fashion, with both teams taking the ball up and down the field evenly. Yale’s defense picked apart the Harvard offense and kept the Crimson from taking any shots on goal for the entire second half.
“Our defense was solid,” Decker said. “We knew we had a job to do, and [we] were committed 110 percent to making sure nothing got through us.”
Harvard goalkeeper Lizzie Durack made a save on a shot by Gavin, which was the only shot on goal for the second half. After 90 minutes, the score remained 0–0.
The teams were given a short break before heading into a 10-minute overtime period. Overtime is played under the golden goal rule, meaning that the first team to score wins the game, causing the intensity to heighten. Both goalkeepers came up big with saves for their teams before the period ended, sending the game into a second and final 10-minute overtime frame.
Though Yale outshot Harvard in both the first and second halves of regulation, it was the Crimson taking control of the overtime periods, out-shooting the Elis 5–2 in the extra time.
“We had a lot of chances to score and didn’t put them away, but it still felt great to be knocking on Harvard’s door for the majority of the game,” Decker said. “Every last one of us left everything on the field, and that in itself is something to be proud of. With that being said, we certainly would’ve loved to come away from the game with a win.”
Shots on goal were taken by both teams within 30 seconds of each other two minutes into the extra period, with defender Carlin Hudson ’18 shooting for Yale and Haley Washburn taking the shot for Harvard. With less than three minutes left, Wilcox kept Yale in the game by making yet another save, her fourth and final of the game. The second overtime ended scoreless, resulting in a tie, Yale’s first of the year.
The result of the game puts added pressure on the Bulldogs as Ivy play heats up. Two games into the conference season, the Bulldogs already find themselves three points back of Harvard, Columbia and Princeton for the top spot among the Ancient Eight.
“Without a win, that puts more pressure on us to win out. We have to now hope for another team to beat Harvard as well, so the pressure is greater than ever,” Conneely added.
The Bulldogs head to Dartmouth on Saturday, Oct. 11 for their third Ivy League game of the season. Play begins at 4 p.m.