The Yale women’s soccer team fell 1–0 to rival Harvard on Saturday in a heartbreaking defeat at home.
The Bulldogs (7–3–0, 1–1–0 Ivy) and head coach Brendan Faherty met the Crimson (8–2–0, 2–0–0 Ivy) with full force, fighting for a second win of the conference season. The squad brought their usual ferocity to the field but were edged out by the visitors, who scored the game’s sole goal in the 65th minute. Despite Yale’s efforts, it was unable to find the back of the net before time ran out.
“Credit to Harvard, they picked up their level of play in the second half and were able to score a good team goal in transition,” Faherty said. “There wasn’t much that separated the two teams, and after giving up the goal, we continued to battle and created some good chances, but we weren’t able to convert. That’s soccer sometimes.”
In the highly anticipated match against the eternal rival, the Bulldogs came onto the pitch with energy and aggression, looking to create opportunities for attacks early on. Within the first 20 minutes, forward Lydia Shaw ’21 took two shots and striker Ellery Winkler ’23 forced Harvard goalkeeper Kat Hess to make her first save of the match. The Crimson met their challenge readily, with Angela Caloia and Gabby DelPico pushing captain and goalkeeper Alyssa Fagel ’20 into making tough saves of her own. Both teams kept their energy high throughout the first half, taking four more shots each.
The players took the field for the second half still at 0–0, both hoping to execute a successful attack. Within the first two minutes, Winkler had another crack at goal and set the tone for an aggressive phase of play. But Harvard fired back, taking four shots in five minutes and putting huge pressure on the Bulldog defense.
As both teams fought for control, the Crimson found their chance. Murphy Agnew artfully fed the ball forward to DelPico, who found the back of the net from the top of the box to score the only goal of the match. Looking for an equalizer, striker Aerial Chavarin ’20 made a quick breakaway with 14 minutes left, but Hess managed to deny her, giving Harvard a straight path to victory.
“If we can build off of what went right on Saturday, and learn from what went wrong, I think we can have a strong showing on Tuesday,” said Fagel. “I look forward to returning to the field this week and seeing our team show our mental strength as we move ahead in our competitive season.”
Moving on from this weekend’s defeat, women’s soccer will take on SUNY Albany (5–3–3, 2–0–1 America East) on Tuesday in another home clash. The two teams have never played before, guaranteeing an exciting challenge. Though UAlbany started out rocky with three losses at the beginning of its season, the Great Danes have honed their skills and have not lost since their Aug. 29 game against Army. Most recently, Albany faced off with its own conference rival, SUNY Binghamton, in a frustrating game that ended in a 0–0 tie after double overtime. The Great Danes will travel to New Haven for their last non-conference game of the season.
After taking on Albany, Yale will host Dartmouth (7–3–0, 0–2–0 Ivy) at Reese Stadium for their third Ivy League game of the season. In last year’s match, the Big Green found a goal in the last four minutes of the game to defeat the Bulldogs 1–0. Though the two teams hold the same overall record, Dartmouth’s most recent loss was against Princeton, whom Yale bested 1–0 last weekend. In preparation for their upcoming contests, the Elis will work on building plays from the defense up to create more scoring opportunities.
“We need to have a short-term memory when it comes to results, as the next game is always around the corner,” said Faherty. “We have a big week ahead with two home games, but the focus for now is on Albany.”
Yale and Albany will kick off at 7 p.m. this Tuesday at Reese Stadium.
Alessa Kim-Panero | email@example.com