With just two games left in the season, the Yale women’s soccer team is still fighting for the Ivy League title.
The Bulldogs (11–3–0, 4–1–0 Ivy) defeated Penn in an away game last Saturday to snag their fourth conference win and fourth victory in a row. The dominant squad will travel to New York to take on Columbia (8–3–3, 2–1–2) this Saturday. Looking ahead, the Elis’ final game will be against powerhouse Brown, the only undefeated team in the Ivy League.
“When the season starts in August the goal is always to be playing postseason soccer in November,” head coach Brendan Faherty said. “That’s exciting and makes this season special, but we still have a lot of work to do, and nothing is guaranteed. It’s easy to get caught up in the what-ifs, but I prefer to continue to focus on ourselves and preparing our team for the most important game of the season: at Columbia on Saturday.”
In their most recent match, the Bulldogs battled the Quakers in Philadelphia. The defending Ivy champions did their best to defend against the Yale attack, but the team managed to break through. Late in the second half, midfielder Sarah Jordan ’21 sent a pass forward to striker Aerial Chavarin ’20. Chavarin managed to push past two defenders and slip the ball up to forward Emily Yin ’22, who smashed a shot past the Quaker keeper to score the single tally of the match. The goal was Yin’s first of her Yale career.
The win was their 11th of the season in just 14 games. In the past ten years, the women’s soccer team has reached 11 wins in a season only once. The victory also marked Yale’s first win against Penn since 2009, solidifying this year’s squad as one of the most successful in recent memory.
“Saturday’s game was definitely a challenge but we continued to play our game and were able to get a positive result,” Yin said. “We’ve enjoyed this victory, especially since it was the first time we’ve beaten Penn since 2009, but our focus has now shifted to Columbia.”
The Bulldogs will meet the Lions in New York this weekend for their penultimate game. Columbia has had a frustrating last few matches, with contests against both Princeton and Dartmouth resulting in 1–1 ties after double overtime. The Lions rank fourth in the Ivy standings and are under pressure to find a win on Saturday.
In its final clash, Yale will invite Brown to Reese Stadium in a game that will undoubtedly have an effect on the final standings . The Bears are the only undefeated team in the league and have lost only one game this entire year. The impressive attack has scored 11 goals against its Ivy opponents, whereas its defense has allowed only three opposing tallies. As the Bulldogs prepare to take on this competitor, they will focus on being balanced on both sides of the ball and becoming more efficient on restarts.
“At practice this week we’re just working on staying focused and motivated for this weekend,” captain and goalkeeper Alyssa Fagel ’20 said. “The fact that a win this weekend is crucial to our title race is just an added circumstance, but it doesn’t change how we approach the game or what we aim to take away from it.”
Yale travels to New York this Saturday to take on the Lions at 5 p.m.
Alessa Kim-Panero | firstname.lastname@example.org