The Yale women’s soccer team fell short in its Ivy opener this past Saturday, facing a tough Princeton team on the road. In a contest between two prolific offenses, the Tigers found the back of the net three times while shutting out the Bulldogs 3–0, the first scoreless contest that Yale has had all season.
The Elis (3–4–2, 0–1–0 Ivy), who have scored 14 goals in nine games this season, notched only three shots on goal in the game. The less-than-stellar performance on both sides of the ball came despite several strong individual performers for Yale early on in the season. Forward Michelle Alozie ’19 and midfielder Sofia Griff ’19 rank third and fourth in the conference, respectively, in both goals scored and points, while goalkeeper Rachel Ames ’16 is the current leader in number of saves — racking up 54 over the past nine games.
“The game against Princeton was a misrepresentation of the team’s talent,” Ames said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t connect all of the pieces on Saturday, and Princeton was able to capitalize on that. Looking forward, we know we have the talent, work ethic and desire to get the job done. We just have to fine-tune the small things in order to get the result we know we’re capable of.”
In a series where the home team has historically struggled — the visitor has emerged victorious since 2006 — Princeton (6–3–0, 1–0–0), which featured last year’s Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year Tyler Lussi, managed to break the streak.
The first half was tight between the two squads, as the Bulldogs were able to shut down Princeton’s attack and hold the game scoreless through halftime.
Following the break, however, the Tiger offense came alive. Princeton managed to convert in the 62nd minute off an opportunity created by Lussi. Later in the half, she added two goals to put the Elis away.
Alozie noted that the team struggled overall, and that the Bulldogs did not bring the same energy to the table as they have in past contests.
Midfielder Maggie Furlong ’18 mentioned Princeton’s physicality as a major difference maker in the game. The Tigers committed 13 fouls, over twice as many as Yale.
“Princeton was definitely a tough game,” Furlong said. “They were fast and fit and possessed the ball extremely well.”
The Tigers dominated the second half, attempting 19 shots in the second half while Yale had just six. The Elis, who have no midweek games, are now looking ahead to their game this upcoming Saturday, when Harvard will travel to Reese Stadium for a soccer doubleheader against both the men’s and women’s teams. Midfielder Sarah McCauley ’18 recognized the harsh loss to Princeton but said that the team is looking to the future rather than dwelling on the past.
“There is no good way to put into words the sting we felt this weekend,” McCauley said. “However, with that said, we have put it behind us and [have] shifted 100 percent of our focus to doing everything we can to prepare to win in our game against Harvard this weekend.”
The Bulldogs have been training hard all season for the important Ivy games such as the one against Harvard — the defending champion of the Ivy League title.
Ames said that she believes this Saturday will showcase an improvement in Yale’s play after hard work in practice.
“I’m extremely excited to play Harvard on Saturday, and I know my team is ready to compete in the historic rivalry,” Ames said. “We’ve dedicated a lot of time and energy to prepare for games like this, and it’s time for our preparation and sacrifices to pay off.”
The Bulldogs host the Crimson in their first Ivy League home game at Reese Stadium this Saturday at 4 p.m.