The Yale women’s soccer team defeated Penn 1–0 on Saturday to grab its 11th win of the season and fourth of Ivy League play.
The Bulldogs (11–3–0, 4–1–0 Ivy) traveled to Philadelphia for their first away game since their Sept. 28 matchup against Princeton. Penn (8–5–1, 2–3–0) fought hard on the attack but never found the back of the net. Now with three conference losses, the Quakers’ bid to defend their conference title has ended. Yale will travel to New York this weekend to play Columbia in its penultimate Ivy matchup.
“We knew Penn was going to be a challenging match [for] our group,” head coach Brendan Faherty said. “The Quakers look to play somewhat directly and work very hard on both sides of the ball. Though it was a month between road games, we did open the season with six of our first nine on the road, and I believe that experience helped us on Saturday.”
Saturday’s game against Penn was evidence of the Bulldogs’ resilience and patience. The Quakers charged the field with early aggression, immediately forcing captain and goalkeeper Alyssa Fagel ’20 to make her first of four saves. In the first half, Penn outshot Yale 5–1 but was unable to complete any of its attacks. The Bulldogs worked hard to create chances and moved the ball down the field to challenge a strong Quaker defense. Ultimately, both teams retreated for halftime frustrated by the 0–0 tie.
Yale returned to the field ready to fight for a win. The team quickly took control with striker Aerial Chavarin ’20 taking a dangerous shot within just two minutes. Penn stayed strong on defense and stopped many Bulldog attempts to make plays down the field. The Elis finally got their chance when midfielder Sarah Jordan ’21 played a great ball to Chavarin, who powered past defenders and slipped the ball up to forward Emily Yin ’22. Yin then smashed a shot past the goalie to score the single tally of the match, marking her first career goal. The Quakers did their best to answer back, but the Bulldog defense shut them down completely to take their fourth victory of conference play.
“Going into the Penn match, we were focused on ourselves and making sure we played our own game,” Fagel said. “While having four home games in a row was nice, it was exciting to hit the road again as a team and turn all our attention to soccer. As we enter a new week of practice, all eyes turn to Columbia and what we can do to find success again next Saturday.”
With just two games left in their season, the Bulldogs will look to finish strong in the Ivy standings. Yale and Harvard are tied for second place, trailing the undefeated Brown squad. Upcoming matches against Columbia and Brown are crucial to the Elis’ hunt for the title.
The Bulldogs next take on the Lions (8–3–3, 2–1–2) in New York. Their past two matches, against Princeton and Dartmouth, have resulted in frustrating 1–1 ties after two overtimes. Columbia currently ranks fourth in the standings, so the lions are under pressure to find a win in their last two Ivy matches. Brown (12–1–1, 5–0–0) has had an incredible season, losing only to Villanova on Sept. 22. In conference play, the Bears are undefeated, with 11 total goals against their Ancient Eight competitors. Yale will face the dominant squad in its final match of the season and will look to break Bruno’s impressive streak.
“When we play the way we know best, we are a tough team to compete with,” Jordan said. “Still being in the running for the Ivy League title this far into the season is an amazing feeling, but we have to stay focused as Columbia and Brown will be two challenging games.”
Yale kicks off against Columbia in New York this Saturday at 5 p.m.
Alessa Kim-Panero | firstname.lastname@example.org