Fresh off its dramatic win against Columbia via a 90th minute penalty kick, the Yale women’s soccer team returns to Reese Stadium on Saturday for senior night against Brown.
For the second straight year, the Elis (10–4–2, 3–2–1 Ivy) stole a result in the final minute against the league-leading Lions. The 1–0 victory, courtesy of converted penalty kick by forward Aerial Chavarin ’20, not only spiced up the title race — Columbia (9–5-1, 5–1–0) and No. 13 Princeton (13–2–0, 5–1–0) now boast the same Ivy records — but also gave the Bulldogs their 10th win of the season. Yale now faces Brown (11–4–0, 4–2–0) with a chance to grab its first 11-win season since 2007.
Yale’s match against the Lions was Yale’s first after being mathematically eliminated from the Ivy title race. Nevertheless, the Bulldogs showed no decline in heart last Saturday as they gave every ounce of effort against an organized and effective Columbia team that was previously unbeaten in Ivy play.
“Our team is one that plays until the end, and that showed … against Columbia,” captain and defender Carlin Hudson ’18 said. “While we aren’t fighting for a championship or postseason, we are still playing as hard as we can. We will fight and work no matter what and that’s what makes this team special. It was really exciting [to get the 10th win].”
Yale will now return home, which has been a place of comfort for the team this year. With a 5–0–2 record in New Haven, the Elis have not suffered defeat on their home turf this campaign. Some of the most memorable moments of the season, including a win against Miami, a thrashing of Harvard and an overtime thriller versus Dartmouth, occurred with Coxe Cage as a backdrop.
The Brown season has come in waves, with the Bears sporting several extensive winning and losing streaks. Most recently, Brown pulled out three wins against Harvard, Cornell and Penn with a final score of 1–0 each. The Bears’ first Ivy win of the season also came by a 1–0 scoreline against Dartmouth. This composure in close games has carried the Bears to their best overall record since 2013, when they last reached 10 wins for the season.
“[We] will be ready for Brown,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “[The team] has Halloween this week, so they need to try to stay focused … I think we can come up with some tricks after eating all the treats.”
Brown enters this Saturday’s game coming off a thrilling overtime contest. Brown forward and second-leading scorer Star White clinched the Bear’s win against Penn with a game-winning goal in the 94th minute, marking the team’s fourth overtime win of 2017.
Brown has balanced strong offensive and defensive prowess this year. Goalkeeper Christine Etzel became the 10th goalkeeper in program history to record 200 or more career saves early this year and heads to New Haven as the reigning Ivy League Player of the Week. Brown forward Mikela Waldman — the team’s leading scorer — has also earned Ivy League Player of the Week honors this season.
With Yale and Brown separated by just two points in the Ivy standings, Saturday’s fixture should offer a competitive farewell to the Bulldog seniors.
“We are so excited to face [Brown],” defender Brittany Simpson ’19 said. “We want to end the season how we deserve to end it, especially for our seniors who have been such great role models. On senior night, I’m excited for us to show how much effort we have put into every game this year. I’m happy we get to end the season on our home field.”
Yale and Brown will kick off at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
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