Steve Musco

The Yale women’s soccer team went two for two last week, as it triumphed at home against Fordham on Thursday night, 2–0, before traveling down south to best Robert Morris 2–1 on Sunday morning.

In their first match against the Rams (1–5–2, 0–0–0 Atlantic 10), the Elis (4–2–0, 0–0–0 Ivy) scored twice in the first half and never looked back. Fordham’s stagnant offense was unable to respond to the blistering pace of the Yale attack, which outshot the Rams 19–8. The Elis’ momentum continued on the road, where they fought off the Colonials (2–4–1, 0–0–0 Northeastern) to claim a 2–1 victory. Yale has now won four out of its last five games with a fluid offensive play, led by striker Aerial Chavarin ’20, who has five goals to her name this season.

“It was great to win two games over the weekend, score four goals and also to have each goal be scored by a different student-athlete,” head coach Brendan Faherty said. “Our training sessions were very competitive this week with a lot of energy. The increased level at training led to the opportunity for more student-athletes to earn more minutes in games. The best part of the weekend was being able to transfer that same competitive spirit to the two games.”

The first minutes of the game saw brisk back-and-forth play between the Rams and the Bulldogs. Right at the 10-minute mark, Maura Holst fired the first shot of the game for Fordham, which soared too high. Within less than two minutes, Chavarin tested Rams’ goalkeeper Kelly LaMorte. Following 11 foul-filled minutes, the game was still tied at 0–0. Yale defender Kristen Enriquez ’21 tried to send a ball to the back of the net, but failed to control the height. Fordham returned the ball, only to be intercepted by first-year phenom Ellery Winkler ’23, who dribbled up the line before shooting from the top of the box and netting her fourth goal in five appearances.

The Bulldogs guarded their 1–0 lead from the Fordham squad, continuing to attack while blocking the Rams, who shot thrice within fewer than 20 minutes. Still, Yale managed to maintain control of the game. Just shy of the end of the first period, a perfect cross from forward Saje Brar ’22 found forward Mia Grillo ’21, who headed the ball home in her first goal of the season to increase the Bulldogs’ lead to 2–0. In the second half, Yale stayed aggressive, shooting 14 times and forcing Rams’ keeper LaMorte to save four more balls. Goalkeeper Alyssa Fagel ’20 denied three more shots from Fordham to help the Elis obtain their first clean sheet of the season.

“It’s been two long weekends of travel so we are very excited to be returning home with another win,” Fagel said. “One benefit of traveling so far this early in the season is that we are having a lot of time to spend together as a team and to focus on soccer. Long bus rides and staying at a hotel are great ways to get to know each other.”

Yale was back on the road come Sunday, taking the bus down to the Pittsburgh area to face Robert Morris. The opening minutes proved tense for the Blue and White, with the staunch Colonial defense constraining the dynamic Bulldogs’ attacking force. Winkler, forward Lydia Shaw ’21 and Chavarin all sent high-flying balls toward Colonial goalkeeper Sydney Bruckner, but it was Robert Morris who first found the net when Kristina Kelley kicked a ball past Fagel in the 11th minute to give the Colonials the advantage. The Bulldogs continued to create dangerous chances, despite trailing, with two more shots from Shaw and Chavarin in the first half.

The Elis finally made contact when an unguarded Chavarin nudged in a speedy ball for the equalizer in the 24th minute. Yale quickened play, with five more shots to finish the half. Despite the Bulldogs’ strong possession, the game remained at 1–1 through most of the second period. Yale pushed Bruckner with two dangerous shots by Shaw and midfielder Chloe Laureano ’23 right over the hour mark. Bruckner stayed strong, but ultimately could not intercept all the shots coming her way. In the 71st minute, Grillo sent Laureano a powerful ball, which Laureano pushed past Bruckner for her first goal of the season. The goal clinched the game for Yale, 2–1. Demonstrating dominance across the board, the Bulldogs outshot the Colonials 22–6 and had a 10–1 edge in corner kicks.

Looking to continue its winning streak, Yale faces Northeastern in Boston this Thursday.

Bill Gallagher |

Esther Reichek |