The Yale women’s soccer team bested Dartmouth 3–1 on Saturday in a thrilling home match.
The Bulldogs (9–3–0, 2–1–0 Ivy) took on the Big Green (8–4–0, 0–3–0 Ivy) for the third game of their bid for the conference title. The squad scored three incredible goals and kept a hungry Dartmouth attack at bay for a decisive victory. Yale will face off against Cornell and Penn next to continue its Ivy season.
“We brought a lot of energy to the pitch in our game against Dartmouth,” captain and goalkeeper Alyssa Fagel ’20 said. “At halftime, we did a great job recognizing what was and was not working, and we effectively addressed these factors in the second half. Our game against Cornell is huge; we are entering a point in the season where it really becomes noticeable which teams are continuing to progress and which are starting to drop off.”
After a tough loss against rival Harvard last weekend, the Elis came back strong to their next conference game. Dartmouth posed a large threat, with strikers, such as Allie Winstanley, tallying seven goals this season and a solid defense that had only conceded five goals this year so far. Regardless, the Bulldogs brought their usual aggression and focus to the field, with rookie striker Ellery Winkler ’23 taking the first shot just two minutes in.
Dartmouth got its first big chance when a controversial foul was called against Yale, granting a Big Green penalty kick. Winstanley took a strong shot but was denied by Fagel. Less than five minutes later, Winkler set up a perfect cross to forward Lydia Shaw ’21, who finished the play to bring the Bulldogs into the lead 1–0. Dartmouth worked hard to answer back, with Erin Kawakami scoring the only Big Green goal of the match in the 38th minute. The teams were tied 1–1 at the end of 45.
Yale returned to the pitch for the second half ready to battle for a win. The squad got their chance to move into the lead when midfielder Chloe Laureano ’23 took a corner kick, setting the ball up in the opponent’s box. In a flurry of action, midfielder Noelle Higginson ’20 got control of the ball and took a shot from outside the box, bringing the Bulldogs up to a 2–1 lead. Ten minutes later, midfielder Sarah Jordan ’21 was substituted onto the field. After just a minute, Shaw played a perfectly weighted pass in behind the defense to split the center backs, putting Jordan through on goal. The play resulted in yet another Eli tally. As time ran out, Yale continued to work hard, make opportunities for scoring, and protect their goal, ending the game 3–1.
“We came out of the Harvard game a little upset with how we were on crossing and finishing, so that’s what we focused on in practice,” Higginson said. “Our first goal was really rewarding, which was off of crossing and a good finish by Lydia. It’s always nice to see what you practice working out in a game. Second half, I thought we pressed a lot better — that’s one of our strengths that we really wanted to focus on. But now that Dartmouth’s over, all eyes on Cornell.”
This Saturday, Yale will continue its conference bid with a matchup against the Big Red. The Bulldogs defeated Cornell (4–5–1, 0–3–0 Ivy) in last year’s game with a header from striker Aerial Chavarin ’20. The Big Red has struggled in its conference season so far, losing to Columbia, Penn and Harvard in consecutive matches. Regardless, the team boasts a strong attacking squad looking to make a comeback in their upcoming contests.
Yale will then face Penn (6–4–1, 1–2–0 Ivy) the following weekend in their first away game since facing off with Princeton on September 28. The Bulldogs have not defeated the Quakers since 2009, and most recently lost 2–1 to them in a frustrating match last fall. Like Yale, Penn also fell 1–0 to Harvard but then bounced back to defeat Cornell 4–2. Most recently, they traveled to New York to take on Columbia, losing 1–0 with a goal in the 78th minute. This weekend, the Quakers will take on Dartmouth in a home match. As Yale trains for its upcoming Ivy clashes, the team will take advantage of fall recess as a welcome break.
“We have fall break coming up, so it’ll be nice for our students to get a break from the rigor of classes and practice and games,” said Faherty. “I’m excited [about] that and I think for us, we just want to continue to get better at what we’re good at.”
The Bulldogs will take on the Big Red at Reese Stadium this Saturday at 1 p.m.
Alessa Kim-Panero | firstname.lastname@example.org