On the heels of its first Ivy League win of the season last week against Dartmouth, the Yale women’s soccer team could not replicate the result on Saturday against Cornell.
In a game that lacked offensive fireworks, the Bulldogs (4–6–2, 1–3–0 Ivy) were shut out by the Big Red (9–1–4, 2–1–1 Ivy) in a 1–0 defeat at Reese Stadium.
The game was relatively even statistically. Cornell managed five shots on goal to Yale’s three, but a defensive lapse in the 26th minute brought a Big Red player down in the Yale box. Goalkeeper Rachel Ames ’16 stopped the penalty shot off the foot of Elizabeth Crowell, but the Hamburg, New York native sunk the rebound and put Cornell up 1–0. Ames has stopped two of three penalties this season on the initial shot, though all three have produced goals for the opposition.
“I think that the team has had some small errors in our defensive third that have resulted in goals,” Ames said. “Unfortunately, [in] this game it was a penalty.”
Cornell is currently the country leader in goals-against average at 0.214, as the team has only conceded three goals in 14 contests. Thanks in large part to the team’s stout defensive play this season, Cornell is one of only five schools in the nation to have just one loss. Aware of the Big Red’s impressive resume, the Bulldogs understood the tall task ahead of them.
Midfielder Maggie Furlong ’18 said the Elis knew that they would be confronted by some of the best defenders in the nation.
“They are an incredible defensive team, so we knew scoring against them would be tough, but the team worked hard,” Furlong said.
Yale outshot Cornell 14–10 and produced five corners to the opposition’s one. The Bulldogs believed that they controlled possession after the penalty but they were unable to convert their opportunities into goals on the scoreboard. Ames said she felt that the Elis could not break through against the Big Red because of a lack of execution in their offensive attacks.
“Our biggest weakness right now is not playing to our full potential because of turnovers. Sometimes we turn the ball over too quickly, causing us to defend a lot,” Ames said. “We have great offensive ideas, but sometimes our attack is cut short by a small mistake.”
One bright spot for the game was the return of the team’s leading scorer, forward Michelle Alozie ’19, who made a full recovery after a head-and-neck injury that forced her to exit last week’s match against Dartmouth. Alozie posted seven shots against Cornell, though she had little space to work with as the Big Red effectively marked her throughout the game, thus subduing her offensive presence.
Defender Ally Grossman ’16 said that the Bulldogs simply lacked the ability to complete their chances on Saturday but were making the right plays.
“We connected well yesterday on the field, offensively, in the midfield and defensively. The difference between Cornell and us was that they capitalized on the opportunities they were given,” Grossman said. “While we had the majority of the possession and more opportunities than them, they put the ball in the back of our net and kept it out of theirs. Overall though, we played good soccer and there was tremendous effort all over the field.”
Yale will play host once more on Monday night when they face Central Connecticut State University at 7 p.m. Yale has split the last two matchups against the team dating back to 2012, but was shutout 4–0 in last season’s meeting.