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The Yale women’s soccer team fell 2–0 to No. 20 Harvard Saturday afternoon, and is now looking towards its next matchup against Boston University on Tuesday in Boston, Mass.

The Bulldogs (1–9–0, 0–2–0 Ivy) faced the Crimson (8–0–1, 2–0–0 Ivy) at Reese Stadium in both teams’ second Ivy matchup of the season. Yale was outshot 23–6, but was able to hold the Crimson back for the first 50 minutes of the game.

“Harvard is one of the best teams in the country,” head coach Sarah Martinez said. “I thought our group showed a lot of grit and organization which really disrupted Harvard’s incredibly dynamic attack.”

Harvard came into Saturday undefeated and with its best start to the season since 1996, beginning with a 1–0 win against Fairfield University on Aug. 27. The Crimson most recently defeated Penn 3–0 on Sept. 25, setting the tone for the beginning of its Ivy League campaign.

The Bulldogs looked for their second win of the season during the match, but ultimately fell short. Yale played a defensive game to counter the Crimson’s strong attack, tallying a total of 15 saves — 13 of which came from Goalie Maya Bellomo ’25. Bellomo’s first save was a shot in the third minute by Harvard midfielder Hannah Griffin.

Three more Crimson shots were taken in the next ten minutes, one by defender Jordan Di Verniero and two by forward Angela Caliola, one of which was saved by defender Annika Bryant ’25. In the 14th minute, defender Nana Yang ’25 made Yale’s first shot on goal, which was saved by goalie Hannah Gardner.

An interchange of wide shots occurred throughout the rest of the first period. Crimson midfielder Hannah Bebar made a shot in the 17th minute, which was followed by a shot from forward Alanna Butcher ’25 and another from Caloia for Harvard. Griffin made another wide shot in the 24th minute, and in the 33rd, and another attempt by defender Taylor Fasnacht was blocked but resulted in a Crimson corner kick.

Bellomo made another save against a shot by midfielder Ava Lung and transitioned the ball to an offensive position, granting Butcher an opportunity at goal that ultimately went wide. The scoreless first half was closed by Bellomo’s fourth save of the game.

“We had a little bit [of a] different tactical approach defensively,” Martinez said. “Our women were so bought into it.”

The second period opened with Bebar taking a corner kick and a shot on goal, which was saved by Bellomo. In the 50th minute, after another save, Di Verniero netted the first goal of the game and her first of the season.

Caloia then made a wide header shot, giving Yale possession of the ball. In the 52nd minute, Butcher made a shot on goal that was saved by Gardner. Harvard then made three shots, two of which were saved by Bellomo and the other by Kristen Enriquez ’25.

Harvard made four substitutions and Yale made two, bringing in defender Giovanna Dionicio ’23 and forward Mia Grillo ’22. After another save by Bellomo, forward Emily Yin ’22 made an attempt on goal.

With 92 seconds of play remaining in the match, Griffin added to Harvard’s score with a security goal. Following the kick-off, Yale quickly launched its final attack, with midfielder Tanner Cahalan ’25 taking a high shot. In the last four seconds, Bellomo made her final save of the game.

“[Our approach] gave us a chance to equalize in the last five minutes before giving up a second goal late,” Martinez said. “If we can play like that for 90 minutes consistently, we will find success late in our season.”

This Tuesday at 7 p.m., Yale will play Boston University (6–5–1, 3–1–0 PL) at Nickerson Field. In their last matchup in 2011, the Terriers beat the Blue and White by a two-goal margin.

Both teams have played Colgate, UMass and Harvard this season. BU lost 1–0 against Colgate, 2–1 against UMass and 3–0 to Harvard. Yale also lost against the three teams — falling 2–0 to Colgate, 1–0 to UMass and 2–0 in their most recent game to Harvard.

“We’re getting to the point in the season where we know how we want to play to be successful,” BU head coach Nancy Feldman said to BU Athletics. “We’re excited to get back to Nickerson Field and do what we’ve been doing on the road.”

Despite their loss to Harvard, the Bulldogs are ready to face their next opponents and find their next win.

“BU is always a well coached blue collar team and we expect nothing less from them this year,” Martinez said. “They currently sit at the top of the Patriot League, so we are heading up to Boston to face a confident organized group.”

Yale’s next home game will come against Dartmouth on Oct. 9.

AMELIA LOWER
Amelia Lower covers women's soccer, men's lacrosse and men's ice hockey. She is a sophomore in Jonathan Edwards College and is from Rye, New York.