The Yale women’s soccer team could not claim a win in its final home game of the year as the Bulldogs fell 2–0 against Columbia on Senior Day for the Class of 2019.
Now, head coach Rudy Meredith and his team will look to refocus in their final game against Brown next weekend.
Yale (7–8–1, 1–5–0 Ivy) entered this weekend still licking its wounds from the shock home 2–0 defeat to Sacred Heart on Wednesday. Nevertheless, the team gave its senior players a worthy send off prior to the beginning of the game. Seniors Michelle Alozie ’19, Keri Cavallo ’19, Sofia Griff ’19, Maritza Grillo ’19, Mackenzie Marsh ’19, Fallon Sheridan ’19, Brittany Simpson ’19 and Fran Steele ’19 were all honored on the pitch with their families. Unfortunately for the Elis, all niceties ended there.
On a wet and windy afternoon, the Bulldogs fell behind early to Columbia (8–6–1, 4–2–0 Ivy). Jessica Schildkraut scored the opening goal of the game after controlling a precise cross whipped in from the flanks. Although the Elis contained the Lions for the rest of the first half, the Yale defense lapsed once again in the second, cut open by a beautiful through ball finished off by Amaris Hemmings.
“For our seniors, it was a nice day,” Meredith said. “We did a really nice pregame ceremony for them. The only disappointing thing was the game. We gave the ball away too often, and we didn’t get into a rhythm.”
Columbia dominated Yale statistically. The Lions outshot the Bulldogs 15–8 with six shots on target to two, respectively. The Bulldogs’ offensive difficulties carried over into this game. Strikers Ciara Ostrander ’21 and Aerial Chavarin ’20 delivered the only shots on goal. Linchpin midfielder Noelle Higginson ’20 had two shots on goal, but the Elis’ offense as a whole failed to challenge Columbia’s senior goalkeepers, Marie Matthews and Sophie Whitehouse.
Meanwhile, Grillo played a significant role in the Elis’ defense for the 28 minutes she was on the pitch. The outgoing senior goalkeeper made four crucial saves during a game where the slippery conditions made it challenging to maintain control of the ball. Columbia then laid siege on Grillo’s replacement, Alyssa Fagel ’20 in the second half. But despite taking nine shots, the Lions could only put one more by the Elis.
Saturday’s loss marked Yale’s fourth consecutive home defeat of the year. The Bulldogs have not won at Reese Stadium for over a month — not since a 2–1 win against Robert Morris. The team that had not lost a single game in New Haven last season must look to recapture that streak in next year’s campaign.
In the coming week, the Elis will travel to Providence for a game against Brown. While the fixture does not have the same title implications as that of the top-of-the-table clash between Princeton and Penn, Yale could still finish the season with a .500 overall record. The Bulldogs could also leapfrog the Bears into sixth place.
“With only one game left, the expectation is that everyone will give their best effort because there will be plenty of time to rest after we are done,” Fagel said. “You always want to end the season on a high note. This has been a tough season, both physically and mentally.”
The game against Brown is slated for Saturday Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.
Bill Gallagher | firstname.lastname@example.org .