After two ties and one loss on the road in conference play, the Yale women’s soccer squad is back on track with a shutout home win against the University of Pennsylvania.

Since their win against Princeton (8–6–1, 1–3–1 Ivy) on Sept. 24, the Bulldogs have been dealt a tough hand in the Ivy League. With a hard loss to Harvard (9–1–3, 3–0–2 Ivy) and ties with both Dartmouth (8–5–2, 1–3–1 Ivy) and Cornell (2–7–5, 0–3–2 Ivy), the Bulldogs (6–5–3, 2–1–2 Ivy) have come back this weekend with a home win against Penn (3–4–7, 0–3–2 Ivy). 

“The next step in our rebuild is to figure out how to replicate the performances at home vs. on the road,” Bulldog coach Sarah Martinez wrote to the News. “When we step on Reese [Stadium], we have a collective confidence that we don’t lose at home. We take pride in making this a place people don’t want to play at. But for us to become an elite team, we have to match those performances on the road.”

This weekend at Reese Stadium was no different as Yale delivered a 1–0 win as the rock-solid Bulldog defense didn’t allow a single shot on goal for Penn. 

This was the Bulldogs’ fifth shutout in a row at home. At this time in the season last year, the Elis had given up 37 goals. Martinez wrote that this “speaks volumes” of the effort that the team has been putting in to “stay true to the process.”

The match started with an offensive start from Penn when, at the 26th minute, the tide turned in the Bulldogs’ favor. Laila Booker ’25 came charging down from the midfield and passed the ball to Zia Makhathini ’24, who handed it off to Chloe Laureano ’24. Laureano then passed back to Booker who blasted the ball from the right side of the field onto the angle of the far post to earn Yale’s only goal of the match. This is Booker’s second goal in a row at Reese Stadium.

The rest of the first half consisted of only one other shot from the Bulldogs by Tanner Cahalan ’25 and a sole shot by Penn as well.

In the 34th minute, Cahalan created another chance for the Blue and White as she crossed a ball into the box from the right but was stopped by Penn goalkeeper Laurence Gladu before it could become a dangerous play.

The second half started off with two early shots from Cahalan in the first two minutes, only nine seconds apart, after a shot by Penn. Despite Penn’s six shots to Yale’s four, the Bulldogs’ defense did not allow a single ball to get near goalkeeper Marisa Shorrock ’24.

“Defensively, the mindset from last year has really shifted,” forward Ellie Rappole ’25 wrote to the News. “Our whole team has really started working for each other when defending which I think has created that extra edge necessary to prevent goals.”

Rappole noted the performance of the back six and emphasized the “outstanding performances” of Shorrock, Booker, Marz Akins ’25, Nana Yang ’25, Rebeka Róth ’25 and Logan Jacobs ’26.

This was Yale’s third win against Penn since 2008 and the first at home. At home, the Blue and White’s current record consists of 6–0–1, while on the road it is 0–5–2.

“I think there has been such a split in home and road performances this year because it’s difficult to replicate the ownership and responsibility felt when playing at home,” Akins ’25 wrote. “It’s difficult to break routines and still get a result, but I think some of the team’s best performances this year have been on the road. Unfortunately, the results don’t show that.

The Bulldogs’ next match will take place at home this coming weekend, and will be against current No. 3 in the Ivy League, Columbia University.

Last season, the Bulldogs finished last in the Ivy League. At the moment, the squad is ranked fourth, with two more games left to go. 

“This upcoming weekend is a super exciting game,” Rappole wrote. “It is our last home game, senior day, and the winner will most likely take third place in the Ivy League. It’s a huge opportunity to prove how much we have grown as a program from last year, and hopefully a great day to show appreciation for our amazing seniors with a win!”

The game against the Lions will take place in Reese Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 1:00 p.m.

Toia Conde Rodrigues da Cunha is the News' Instagram editor. Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, she is studying cognitive science as sophomore. Toia is also a staff reporter for the Sports desk and was a staff photographer.