The Yale women’s soccer team exploded out of the gate for its final game of the season, taking down Ivy League opponent Brown in a 2–1 victory and raising its standing in the conference from fifth to third.
After tying four times in seven conference games, the Elis (8–4–4, 2–1–4 Ivy) were hoping for a win as they faced off against the Bears. Their offense came alive 20 minutes into the match. Midfielder Sarah McCauley ’18 scored both goals for Yale within three minutes of each other on assists from Ally Grossman ’16, Melissa Gavin ’15 and Meredith Speck ’15. The two goals made McCauley the team leader for the season, with five total.
“Throughout the season we were wrought with ties that could’ve very easily gone in our favor — I can remember two occasions where we should have been one up,” midfielder Geneva Decker ’17 said. “Ending the season with a win felt like we were finally doing some justice in that sense.”
The Bulldogs started off the match strong, with Gavin taking a shot on goal less than two minutes into the game. The Bears retaliated with a shot of their own just two minutes later, but goalkeeper Elise Wilcox ’15 made the save. Both teams continued to push each other offensively, keeping both goalkeepers on their toes. In 20 minutes, they each saved four different shots, before Yale finally had a breakthrough with the goals from McCauley.
The second half began in Brown’s favor, when Mikela Waldman scored off of an assist from two of her teammates. However, Wilcox did not let the goal affect her game, and she made three more saves in the half to keep Brown from tying the game.
Yale’s offense wanted another goal to give them some breathing room. Gavin, Decker, Hannah Coy ’18 and Frannie Coxe ’15 all took shots on goal that were stopped by Brown goalkeeper Mallory Yant. After a final header attempt by Brown missed, time ran out and the Elis took home their second conference win of the season.
After a season of struggling to score, the Bulldogs were in fifth place in the league heading into the game in Providence. Four ties and one win had given them seven points, and the win against Brown gave them the extra three they needed to take third. Though they are equal in points with Penn and Princeton, the Bulldogs have two fewer losses than both competitors.
With a win for their last game in the blue and white, the seniors were pleased with the results and the leapfrog finish to their season.
“It was nice to get a win in our last game, but more importantly, I think we were happy not to have to play in overtime again,” Gavin said.
Gavin and Decker also said that this year’s team is the closest-knit group either of them has played with for Yale and that its intensity and friendship fueled them to be a great team.
With their best conference record in three years, the Bulldogs have a bright future ahead of them, though the departure of the seniors will be a difficult goodbye for all of the players.
“This year was one for the books,” Coxe said. “We had so much talent and passion for the game we love. Everyone contributed this season, in practice and in games. Even though we didn’t ultimately get the result we wanted, we know in our hearts that we were good enough.”
The Brown game was the last career contest in blue and white for seven Elis.