Adding to a triumphant weekend for Columbia against Eli teams, the Yale women’s soccer team lost in a thriller on Saturday, dropping an early lead before falling 2–1 to the Lions in double overtime.
This weekend’s Halloween contest was a disappointing end to the Bulldogs’ (4–9–2, 1–5–0 Ivy) road schedule, leaving them tied with Dartmouth at the bottom of the conference standings. The defeat against Columbia (7–7–1, 3–2–1) extended the squad’s losing streak to four games, three of which came against Ivy opponents.
“[This was] another tough game, but the team played really well,” midfielder Maggie Furlong ’18 said. “There were some unlucky calls, but in the end the team possessed [the ball] very well, which was something we were focusing on.”
The game started off strong for Yale, with an early goal just 10 minutes into the game off the foot of midfielder Sofia Griff ’19. Assisted by fellow midfielder Sarah McCauley ’18, the shot from the top of the box was Griff’s fifth of the season, making her the second-leading scorer and point-earner on the roster.
Although they quickly took the lead, the Elis had difficulty generating offense despite outshooting their opponents 4–2 in the second half. Griff’s goal was the lone shot on goal for the first half — a figure relatively low for a team that normally attempts 10.9 shots per game. Part of the diminished attack could be due to the loss of leading scorer forward Michelle Alozie ’19, who missed the game because of illness.
“We came out really strong and got a goal early on, which was exactly what we wanted to do going into the game,” Griff said. “We played a lot better than we have in a while, but unfortunately things didn’t go our way.”
Columbia scored a goal of its own at the 36-minute mark when forward Emma Anderson got one past goalkeeper Rachel Ames ’16 to tie up the contest.
Following the equalizer, neither team could break the stalemate in the second half, sending the game into the first of two sudden-death overtime periods. There was little action in the first 10-minute overtime as the Elis took zero shots but the defense limited the Lions to a single attempt.
“The team focused on putting Columbia under pressure when they won the ball,” Ames said. “Using every player in a high-pressure tactic allowed us to keep the ball in Columbia’s defensive half of the field most of the time, which resulted in us getting more scoring opportunities.”
One such opportunity came from Griff early in the second overtime period, but the shot went high, giving Columbia’s Anderson the chance she needed to end the match with her second goal of the game off a corner kick. After a victory against Dartmouth last weekend, the Lions are now third in the Ivy League.
Yale will play its final match of the season against Brown this Saturday with much of the same strategy that the Bulldogs used when facing Columbia.
“For the Brown game, we hope to come out with an attacking mindset and score early on like we did against Columbia,” Griff said. “We will focus on staying strong physically and mentally for the full 90 minutes so we don’t give up any more goals.”
Brown is currently on a two-game winning streak after finishing up its home slate against Penn on Saturday.
The Elis’ home finale this weekend will mark the last game in a Yale uniform for the seven seniors on the roster.
“For my class, this is our last week of soccer, and we look forward to working hard all week to go out on a high note,” Ames said.
Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. at Reese Stadium, as the Bulldogs attempt to end their longest losing streak of the season.
André Monteiro contributed reporting.