In the third conference game of the season, the Yale women’s soccer team tied Dartmouth at zero in a double overtime match — an identical outcome to the Elis’ game against Harvard a week ago.
After the tie against Dartmouth, the Bulldogs (5–3–2, 0–1–2 Ivy) have been put in a difficult but workable position for the conference title. They currently stand five points behind Harvard and Princeton, who are tied for first in the league, with just four conference games remaining.
“The tie against Dartmouth didn’t leave us in the most advantageous position for the Ivy League title, but it is still very possible,” goalkeeper Rachel Ames ’16 said. “The team just needs to continue to play with intensity and heart as we finish out the season.”
Yale’s defense had another outstanding showing by shutting out Dartmouth. The Big Green has the second-highest average of shots per game in the league at 14.9. Its offense gave the Elis a tough contest from the start, with starting goalkeeper Elise Wilcox ’15 making four saves in the first half alone, one of which came just three minutes into play. Dartmouth came out with a total of six shots in the first half, and the Big Green defense all but shut down the Bulldogs, who only came away with one shot in 45 minutes.
After the referee made a questionable decision by reversing an own goal by Dartmouth, forward Melissa Gavin ’15 was given a penalty kick immediately after, but the ball just missed the net. Gavin’s attempt was the last shot by either team in the first half, which did not go the way the Elis wanted. A halftime talk, however, helped them turn up the intensity.
“We weren’t happy with the way we played in the first half, as we came out kind of sluggish and played with no confidence,” Gavin said. “We talked about it at halftime and came out in the second half playing with a lot more heart and getting a lot more chances.”
The Bulldogs did capitalize on chances throughout the rest of regulation and overtime, though Dartmouth kept the pressure on and outshot the Elis seven to two in the second half. Wilcox kept up her remarkable performance with four more saves in the latter half of the game. Gavin added that Wilcox’s performance was the fuel the team used to fight back against the Big Green, and that she was the team MVP of the game.
Paula Hagopian ’16 took the only shot on goal in the second half for Yale. The shot came about ten minutes into the half, but Big Green goalkeeper Tatiana Saunders managed to block it. After 90 minutes of play, the score remained tied at zero and the game went to overtime.
The extra periods proved to be an even stronger showing for Yale’s defense. The Elis shut down the Dartmouth offense, which only took two shots in the first overtime period. Yale finally managed to outshoot the Big Green with Gavin, defender Hannah Coy ’18 and forward Georgiana Wagemann ’15 taking shots. Wagemann’s was the only shot on goal for the Bulldogs in the first overtime.
The second overtime was less eventful with only two shots total, one by Gavin that missed the goal and one from Dartmouth that was saved yet again by Wilcox. After 10 minutes, the score remained 0–0 and both teams earned one point in the Ivy League standings.
With two straight games of fantastic showings by the defense, the Bulldogs are pleased with their performance on that side of the field.
“The defense has been very solid which is very encouraging. But that’s only half the battle. The defense can only earn one out of the three points we can get for each game,” Wilcox said.
Gavin added that, offensively, the Elis have to take advantage of the chances they get, and they have to play more urgently in situations where a goal is needed to seal the lead.
The Bulldogs will head to Central Connecticut State tonight for their final away non-conference game of the season. Play begins at 7 p.m.