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The Yale women’s soccer team will host No. 6 Brown at Reese Stadium this Saturday for its final game, capping off an incredible season.

The Bulldogs (11–4–0, 4–2–0 Ivy) are currently ranked third in the Ivy League heading into the game. The Bears (14–1–1, 6–0–0) are undefeated in the conference and have already clinched the championship title as well as the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA championship tournament.

“Going into the last game of the season, it’s an opportunity for our team to end with a win on our home field and prove how hard we’ve worked this fall,” forward Mia Grillo ’21 said. “I think the best thing we can do to take on Brown is to respect them as an opponent but continue to play our game and keep doing the things that have worked for us this season.”

Last Saturday, the Bulldogs traveled to New York to take on the Lions (9–3–3, 3–1–2) in their penultimate Ivy match. Despite a goal from leading scorer Aerial Chavarin ’20, the Elis fell to a dominant Columbia offense that netted three goals — the most Yale has allowed in a single game so far this season.

Though the Columbia match ended their bid for the Ivy title, the Bulldogs are still on the hunt for a win against Brown this weekend. The Bears have been the uncontested stars of the league, scoring 12 goals against their Ancient Eight opponents and allowing only three. With their 1–0 win against Penn in double overtime last Saturday, Brown nabbed this year’s championship. This title is the Bears’ 13th of all time, tying them with Harvard for the most crowns in conference history. Bruno also earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA championship.

“It’s a crazy feeling to be entering my final match at Reese,” captain and goalkeeper Alyssa Fagel ’20 said. “This season has been full of highlights; every time I stepped onto the field alongside an incredible group of players and coaches is something to be thankful for and something that will stay with me long after my career ends.”

Though Saturday marks their final regular-season game, the Bulldogs still have a shot at an outside bid to the NCAA championship. On the NCAA women’s soccer RPI rankings, Yale currently sits  No. 42 out of 338 teams. With 32 teams advancing to the tournament, beating Brown might be the Elis’ chance at rising enough in the standings to grab a coveted non-automatic spot. The qualifying teams will be announced on Monday.

As the season closes out, the Bulldogs can be proud of their accomplishments on the field. The Elis scored 30 total goals while only allowing 13. The team has not reached 30 goals in a season since 2008. Fagel also posted six shutouts, starting in all 15 games. This weekend may be the last Yale match for six seniors on the squad, each of whom contributes so much to the team. It also marks the end of head coach Brendan Faherty’s first season.

“It’s been a fun and rewarding fall for our coaching staff and student-athletes,” Faherty said. “We are excited to host Brown on our senior day. They are having a historic season and will be a great representative of the Ivy League in the NCAA tournament. It should be a great college soccer match between two very good teams.”

Yale will kick off at Reese Stadium for the last time this year against Brown on Saturday at 1 p.m.

 

Alessa Kim-Paner0 | alessa.kim-panero@yale.edu