With just two nonconference games to go before the Ivy League season kicks off in two weeks, the Yale women’s soccer team finds itself lacking momentum after its second-straight winless weekend.
Holding their own against Colgate (2–2–3, 0–0- Patriot) on Friday at Reese Stadium, the Bulldogs (3-–2–2, 0–0 Ivy) overcame an early deficit en route to a 1–1 tie. During Sunday’s matinee four hours north, however, Yale fell to the University of Vermont (3–2–1, 0–0 America East) 2–1 due to a two-goal effort from Catamount forward Julia Smith. The two games marked the third and fourth consecutive times that the Bulldogs have given up the first goal of the contest.
“We have to start off the games a little bit better,” said head coach Rudy Meredith. “We give up these early goals so then we end up chasing the game and playing from behind — which I know we can, but we have to get off to a better start.”
Just 13 minutes into Friday night’s showdown in New Haven, a missed save by Yale goalie Jane Buckley ’20 allowed Colgate forward Sarah Coy a clear shot at an undefended goal. That would be the end of scoring for the Raiders, however, as Yale played a smooth second half punctuated by a strong showing from goalie Alyssa Fagel ’20. Fagel’s defensive success continued into the sudden-victory double overtime, in which she made a highlight-reel diving save to preserve the tie.
Meredith said that a halftime change in formation — a more high-pressure game that forced the Raiders to play more defense — helped the Bulldogs stay on the offensive and keep Colgate from scoring.
Perhaps as a result of that change in mentality, forward Michelle Alozie ’19 netted the equalizer with a header midway through the second half. The score was one of six shots for Alozie in the game, more than any other player. Captain and defender Colleen McCormack ’17 and midfielder Kristi Wharton ’20 both earned assists on the play.
The tie was the second straight in which the Bulldogs came from behind in the second half; on Sept. 4 against Iona, forward Aerial Chavarin ’20 scored to force a similar 1–1 tie. Alozie said the key to her goal was staying relaxed despite the deficit.
“Intentionally, we decided to go out really hard the first 10 [minutes of the game], which I think we did,” Alozie said. “It was unfortunate that the goal happened, but we knew that it was just one mistake and we could easily get a goal back.”
Overall the Raiders and Bulldogs were even for most of the game, as Yale narrowly outshot the Raiders 19–15.
Sunday’s match against Vermont was the Bulldogs’ first game away from home turf, and without the support of a home crowd, Yale played a hard-fought but ultimately unsuccessful duel. Despite outshooting the Catamounts 13–8, Yale fell behind 2–0 and was able to score just once in its comeback attempt.
Chavarin, the freshman phenom who leads the team in scoring, knocked in the only Yale goal of the game with an assist from Alozie. Though it prevented a shutout, Chavarin’s offensive boost did not catapult the team back in the game. With just 11 minutes to go after the goal, neither team scored again.
UVM finished with an overall record of 8–8–2 last year, better than Yale’s 4–10–2 mark. Still, the Bulldogs still considered the Catamounts a beatable foe.
“We didn’t do our job this weekend, and we’re disappointed in the result,” McCormack said. “Our last three games were completely winnable, so we’re being introspective to see what needs to be adjusted. We have to be sharper in the back and finish our opportunities up top. Away or home, we need to be better.”
The Elis return home to face Hartford and Creighton on Thursday and Sunday, respectively, before taking on their first Ivy league opponent, Princeton, at Reese Stadium on Sept. 24.