Courtesy of Steven Musco

On Saturday, the Yale women’s soccer team lost 4-0 to Princeton in its first Ivy League game of the 2021 season. 

The Bulldogs (1-8-0, 0-1-0 Ivy) traveled to New Jersey for their first conference game since 2019 to meet the Tigers (7-1-1, 1-0-0 Ivy) on Sherrerd Field at the Class of 1952 Stadium. Yale was able to keep the game scoreless for the first 59 minutes and took five shots on goal throughout the game, despite Princeton having a 19–9 advantage in shots.

“We knew going into this game that Princeton was a very good team that has dynamic and athletic attacking players,” head coach Sarah Martinez said. “We had big defensive efforts, big time saves and created enough opportunities to get a goal for ourselves.” 

Princeton entered their Yale matchup after a 4-0 victory over Delaware on Sunday, Sept. 19. This season, the Tigers have had their best record in the first eight games since 2017 and had the most individual players score since their 2015 season. 

After two Princeton corners, midfielder Ellie Rappole ’25 attempted a shot in the sixth minute, beginning an aggressive first half of play for the Blue and White. A series of fouls and offsides calls for both teams preceded a shot by forward Tina Teik ’25 in the 15th minute and a shot by forward Ellery Winkler ’23 that went wide left in the 16th minute.

Both teams pushed forward in the first half, with Yale attempting six shots to Princeton’s five, with three shots on goal for the Bulldogs and one for the Tigers. Princeton’s first attempt was off the right woodwork, followed by two shots out right, before midfielder Aria Nagai took a penalty shot in the 26th minute on goalie Annie Welch ’25, who made a save. 

In the 33rd minute, forward Alanna Butcher ’25 took a shot from inside the 18-yard box, and defender Annika Bryant ’25 took another shot on goal, both of which Princeton goalie Grace Barbara was able to save. Yale ended the first half with a shot from midfielder Tanner Cahalan ’25 in the last twenty seconds, leaving the first half scoreless. 

“I thought Yale did a very good job negating our offense in the first half,” Princeton head coach Sean Driscoll said to Princeton Athletics. “They also moved the ball well and were composed in the middle third of the field. That’s usually an area of the field where we have good success, but not so much in the first half, which is a credit to them.”

The second half opened with Butcher shooting on goal to bottom center which was saved by Barbara. The Tigers then took possession of the ball, and forward Jen Estes managed a bottom right shot. Welch made a two-hand block at short range and made another save two minutes later against a low-center shot delivered by midfielder Lily Bryant. 

After another attempt on goal by Nagai, Tiger forward Gabi Juarez scored in the 59th minute with a long-ball assist from Estes. Three minutes later, Estes would earn a tally of her own with a low shot near the net assisted by Juarez. 

“I thought we played a very good 60 minutes of soccer before giving up the first goal,” Martinez said. “We shifted some things late in the game to try to chase a goal and got countered with two late goals from Princeton.”

The game evolved into a back and forth between the Bulldogs and the Tigers, the ball traveling from one penalty area to the other followed by an interchange of shots by both teams. Welch completed another save at the bottom left of the goal in the 67th minute as the Bulldogs searched for a tally of their own. 

After Princeton shot four times in four minutes, Tiger defender Ryann Brown and forward Amy Paternoster assisted forward Alexis Hiltunen in the 81st minute for their third goal of the game. After a series of Princeton substitutions, Paternoster and midfielder Kate Toomey assisted forward Ella Midura in scoring the final goal of the game.

The Elis will face Harvard in a home game this Saturday, Oct. 2 at 4 p.m. at Reese Stadium.

Amelia Lower covers football, men's ice hockey and men's lacrosse. She is a senior in Jonathan Edwards College from Rye, New York, double-majoring in Spanish and the History of Science, Medicine and Public Health.
Hamera Shabbir covers golf and fencing for the Sports desk and the School of the Environment for the Science and Technology desk. Originally from California's Central Valley, she is a sophomore in Branford College majoring in Environmental Studies.