The Yale women’s soccer team fell 3–1 to Columbia on Saturday, moving down to third place in the Ivy League rankings with just one match left in the season.
The Bulldogs (11–4–0, 4–2–0 Ivy) met the Lions (9–3–3, 3–1–2) in New York for their last away game of the year. Though the squad fought hard, Columbia’s attack was relentless. The loss broke their four-win streak and ended their bid for the Ivy title. As they return to training this week, the Elis will work on defense in transition.
“We knew the Columbia match was going to be a challenge as they are having a really good season, are very organized defensively and can play well in possession and on the counter,” head coach Brendan Faherty said. “Unfortunately, just as I thought we were starting to find our rhythm in the first half, Columbia scored a goal against the run of play. I believe this gave the Lions a lot of confidence and put us in an unusual position, trailing at halftime. The second half we had more bright spots in the attacking half, but just were unable to finish our chances.”
The Bulldogs kicked off with their usual aggression, pushing the ball downfield and working hard on the attack. But the Lions were on their game, outshooting Yale 5–1 in the first half alone. Columbia grabbed its first tally with a goal from Emily Koe in the 36th minute. Yale worked hard to find an equalizer but left the field at halftime down 1–0.
As the squad returned for the second half, it worked hard to create opportunities while facing huge pressure from a confident Lion attack that managed to net two goals in a span of eight minutes. Columbia connected its plays, finding its second goal just six minutes into the second half from Jordyn Geller. Eight minutes later, the Lions grabbed their third tally of the night, with Shira Cohen stealing the ball from captain and goalkeeper Alyssa Fagel ’20 to slide the ball into an open net and put the Lions up 3–0.
Determined to get on the scoreboard, striker Aerial Chavarin ’20 took a feed from forward Lydia Shaw ’21 to score the single Bulldog goal of the match in the 68th minute. The goal was Chavarin’s eighth of the season, making her the team leader in scoring.
“Every loss provides an important learning experience, and we will work hard at practice this week to improve in the areas where we struggled against Columbia,” Fagel said. “There is still a ton to play for this weekend against Brown, and our team has done a great job bouncing back and refocusing all season long.”
The Yale defense had only allowed 10 goals before Saturday’s loss. The Lions’ three goals on Saturday were the most allowed by the Bulldogs in a single game all season. With this win, Columbia is now unbeaten over five games, though it still remains behind Yale in fourth place in the overall Ivy standings.
This Saturday, Yale will take on No. 18 Brown in its final match of the regular season. The Bears have been completely dominant thus far; they are undefeated in the Ivy League and have lost only one match to Villanova on Sept. 22. After defeating Penn 1–0 this past weekend, Brown clinched the conference title as well as the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA championships.
“This week, we will be focused on how to improve our ability defensively when teams counter on us, and how we can be more creative in the final third,” Faherty said. “I’m excited to get back on the field and have a full week of competitive and challenging training sessions.”
Yale will host Brown at Reese Stadium for its last regular-season match this Saturday at 1 p.m.
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