Marking its 10th win of the season, the Yale women’s soccer team defeated Cornell 1–0 on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (10–3–0, 3–1–0 Ivy) capped off four home games in a row with a decisive victory over the Big Red (4–7–1, 0–4–0). Yale’s offense outshot Cornell 22–2, and captain and goalkeeper Alyssa Fagel ’20 posted her fifth shutout of the season. This weekend, the Bulldogs will face off with Penn, a team they have not defeated since 2009.
“Today was a challenging match for us because we did a lot right, but couldn’t finish our chances,” head coach Brendan Faherty said. “That being said, I was really happy that our group didn’t panic, but instead continued to possess, and created a lot of scoring opportunities from the run of play and from restarts. We are going to enjoy this win for a couple of days, as it’s a big moment for our program — earning our 10th win of the season.”
The Elis took to the field ready to fight for a third Ivy League win. Within 10 minutes, forward Noelle Higginson ’20 took a shot, forcing Big Red keeper Nicole Shulman to make her first save of the match. The Elis were clearly the stronger side, with impressive offensive plays resulting in nine more shots by the end of the first 45 minutes. On the other end of the field, the Yale defense remained strong, not allowing a single Cornell shot in the first half. Frustrated that the scoreboard did not reflect their dominance, the Bulldogs refocused over halftime and came back onto the field ready to fight for the win.
Once again, Yale kept the ball on the opponent’s half, with striker Ellery Winkler ’23, forward Lydia Shaw ’21 and midfielder Chloe Laureano ’23 pressuring Cornell’s defense with shot after shot in quick succession. The Bulldogs got their big chance when Shaw fed a ball through the defense to striker Aerial Chavarin ’20. Yale’s leading scorer powered past two defenders to send the ball past the keeper, scoring the only goal of the game. The squad continued to take shots while also defending against an aggressive Big Red offense. In the last minute of the game, Cornell had a final chance with a free kick just outside the box. Midfielder Evanthia Spyredes took a strong shot, but Fagel saved it comfortably to end the match.
“The Cornell game was a great testament of our team mentality and work ethic,” Shaw said. “Even though we outshot Cornell the entire game, we didn’t give up when things weren’t going our way. We persevered and got the result we came for — our third Ivy League win and 10th win of the season!”
Saturday’s victory marks Yale’s 10th win in 13 games so far this season, and their eighth win in the last nine games. Faherty asserted that the team focuses on one match at a time, directing its energy towards playing its best every day. This emphasis on keeping a positive mindset and strengthening their skills in practice has allowed the Bulldogs to see great success. In the Ivy League women’s soccer standings, Yale currently ranks third, trailing behind only Brown and Harvard.
The Bulldogs take on Penn (7–4–1, 2–2–0) this Saturday in their first away match since Sept. 28. Yale hopes to defeat the Quakers for the first time since 2009 and continue its conference success. Penn most recently faced off with Dartmouth in a home match, winning 1–0 for its second Ivy victory this year. The Quakers boast an impressive 19 total season goals, while their defense has only given up 13. This week, the Bulldogs will return to training once again to best prepare themselves for a positive result in Philadelphia.
“The Penn game is big; we just finished a long home stand, and we know how difficult it can be playing on the road,” Fagel said. “We are looking forward to another productive week of training, and are excited for a big opportunity in Philadelphia.”
The Bulldogs face the Quakers at Rhodes Field this Saturday at 4 p.m.
Alessa Kim-Panero | firstname.lastname@example.org