Tag Archive: W. Soccer

  1. W. SOCCER | Seniors seek Harvard win

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    Last year at Reese Stadium, during Alumni Day, a penalty kick by The Crimson just 2:16 into overtime gave Yale its first Ivy loss of the 2011 season. The Bulldogs still haven’t forgotten.

    On Saturday, the Bulldogs (5–4, 0–1 Ivy) have the chance to take another shot at Harvard (5–4, 0–1 Ivy).

    And for the seniors, this will be their last chance.

    “Our senior class has never beaten them,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “Nobody on the team has ever beaten Harvard.”

    According to Meredith, Yale’s game is going to mirror the style of play that was apparent in the Princeton game, with a few subtle differences.

    First, the Crimson packs an offensive punch that Princeton didn’t. While the Tigers had the league-leading scorer on their team, Jen Hoy, goals did not come from many others. For Harvard, on the other hand, the 12 goals put away this season have come from nine different players. Also, the Crimson has scored consistently, being shut out only once this season by Penn.

    “They are good at going forward and attacking and putting you under pressure,” Meredith added.

    The Crimson has another similarity to the Tigers — a long thrower.

    In the Bulldogs’ overtime loss last week, the goal that ended the game was the result of a long throw-in.

    To prepare for Saturday’s matchup, the Elis have been splitting their focus between defending a flurry of attackers and protecting against long throw-ins. Blocking the opposition out when the ball is in the air will aid the Bulldogs in clearing goal-scoring opportunities from their zone. One-on-one defense is crucial to overpowering the myriad of scorers at the Crimson’s disposal.

    “We’ve got to work on our one-on-one defending this week,” Meredith added. “They have some really good one-on-one players.”

    Despite the defensive emphasis in practice, the Bulldogs have a wide variety of scorers themselves. With 19 goals coming from 10 players this season, the Elis have found ways to score in any situation.

    The same can be said for their goaltending. While the Crimson’s sophomore Bethany Kanten has started all seven games this season, the Elis have been successful with both Rachel Ames ’16 and Elise Wilcox ’15 in net, who have each started three games this season, following a season-ending injury to Adele Jackson-Gibson ’13.

    This weekend will be a character test for the Bulldogs and will give the Elis a chance to even up their record in the Ivy League to 1–1 while simultaneously putting the Crimson into an 0–2 hole.

    Against Princeton, the Bulldogs could not reverse the curse of losing to the Tigers at home. This weekend the Elis are determined to reverse the curse of Ohiri Field.

    The Bulldogs will kickoff against the Crimson at 4 p.m. on Saturday for the 35th time.

  2. W. SOCCER | Bulldogs drop first home game in OT

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    An accidental header from a Yale defender ended the Bulldogs’ three-game winning streak on Saturday and gave the Elis their first loss at home this season.

    With just over three minutes to go in overtime, Princeton (4–3, 1–0 Ivy) scored after a throw-in by Tiger Liana Cornacchio was unintentionally deflected into the net by defender Trish Berkanish ’13.

    “I think we battled really well,” forward Anne Song ’13 said. “It was unfortunate it turned out the way it did.”

    Like their other games this season, the Bulldogs (5–4, 0–1 Ivy) played another highly physical game on Saturday. The Tigers received two yellow cards, one during each half.

    Yale scored first, despite Princeton’s fiery play. Just 11 minutes into the game, forward Melissa Gavin ’15 found midfielder Muriel Battaglia ’15 in the swamp of players in front of the Tigers’ goal with a precise corner kick. Battaglia jumped up and headed the ball in to give the Bulldogs their only lead of the game. It was not long before Princeton came back.

    The Tigers flew out onto the field with fierceness in the first half, taking control of the ball and the midfield. Princeton fired a total of nine shots during the course of the first half, but goalkeeper Rachel Ames ’16 and solid defense from the Bulldogs kept the Tigers to zero goals until 24 minutes into the game, Tiger midfielder and defender Gabriella Guzman boomed a shot from 25 yards out, picking off the top corner.

    “They controlled the midfield a little bit better,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “I thought the midfield play was the difference in the game.”

    After Princeton’s onslaught in the first half, the Elis were tired of the Tigers’ claiming the midfield as their own. Yale came back to the field charged with the speed Princeton initiated. The Elis moved the ball back and forth, weaving in and out of Princeton defenders. Give-and-go play helped the Bulldogs gain control of the field.

    Six minutes into the second half, Gavin tiptoed around a slide-tackling Tiger, deftly walked between two other defenders, and in a fury, fired a shot on goal that the Tigers stopped.

    But the Elis’ burst of energy was not consistent enough to get a leg up on Princeton. Just two minutes later, a Tiger headed a floating corner kick just above the crossbar.

    With 11 minutes remaining, the Tigers could have ended the game. Princeton snuck attacker Jen Hoy in behind the Elis’ defense, and she blasted a shot past Ames. The goal was called back, however, because the Tigers were off sides.

    In spite of Princeton’s vicious rebound, Yale was not ready to give in to Princeton’s assault. With just over four minutes left in regulation, Gavin slid the ball up from just past midfield to Frannie Coxe ’15 who slammed a shot past Claire Pinciaro, but a Princeton defender stepped in behind the keeper to clear the ball out just before it rolled across the goal line.

    After the first 90 minutes expired with a 1–1 tie, the game was sent into overtime. Half way through overtime, Hoy — the leading scorer in the Ivy League — exploded up the field with a teammate on a fastbreak and was about to cross a pass into the bottom corner of the net when she was taken out by a hustling Yale defender that slide-tackled her.

    Just two minutes later, the Tigers threw the ball in, and Berkanish inadvertently ended the game with a deflected header.

    “I think that everyone poured their heart and soul into the game, and I think that our preparation leading up to the game was to work as hard as we possibly can,” defender Shannon McSweeney ’15 said. “I think it showed on the field. Obviously we have things to work on going forward, but, like [Meredith] said, we are going to put this in our past.”

    The Bulldogs will take on Harvard next Saturday at 4 p.m. in Cambridge, Mass.

  3. W. SOCCER | Bulldogs open Ivies vs. Tigers

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    Coming off a three-game winning streak, the Bulldogs (5–3) will take on the Princeton Tigers (3–3) this weekend — the beginning of Ivy League play for both teams.

    In the past four seasons, each competition between Princeton and Yale has resulted in a victory for the away team.

    “We’ve got to try and break that curse,” head coach Rudy Meredith said.

    In their attempt to do so, the Bulldogs will have to out-will the Tigers and play solid team defense. Judging from their last three games, the Bulldogs seem to be on the right track. The Tigers’ five yellow cards and the Bulldogs’ three this season foreshadow a fierce game.

    Meredith added that the Tigers have an aggressive mentality on the field that leads to their scoring touch.

    “They have scored a lot of goals this year,” Meredith said.

    But they are not the only scorers on the field. With an 8–1 blowout over the Saint Peter’s Peacocks on Sept. 11, the Elis have demonstrated their scoring prowess.

    Despite the high scoring both teams have demonstrated this year, a high-scoring game on Saturday is unlikely. In the past seven years of matchups between Princeton and Yale, scoring deficits have been held to two or fewer every game.

    In preparing for the tough competition that faces them this weekend, the Elis have been focusing on team defense, and for good reason. On the Tigers’ roster is the Ivy League’s leading scorer Jen Hoy, who has already put away nine goals this season.

    In contrast, goals from the Bulldogs have been well-distributed across the team. When the Bulldogs defeated the Peacocks by a seven-goal margin, just one player scored twice.

    The Elis treat defense the same way — winning for the Bulldogs is a team effort.

    Rachel Ames ’16 and Elise Wilcox ’15 have been splitting time in the net. All of the players that have played in a game have also started for the Bulldogs.

    By continuing their team momentum, the Elis are looking to outplay the Tigers across the field. Ball movement, similar to that displayed in the last couple of games, coupled with deliberate spreading of the field will bode well for the Bulldogs.

    The Bulldogs will kick off against the Tigers at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Reese Stadium.

  4. Forster ’13, Ivy Player of the Week, reflects on career

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    As the women’s soccer team prepares for Ivy League play, which begins on Saturday at Princeton, midfielder Kristen Forster ’13 has already established herself in the League. On Sept. 17, Forster was named Ivy League Player of the Week after leading the Elis in consecutive victories over Saint Peter’s University, Iona College, and Central Connecticut State University. Not only did Forster score three goals over the course of the week’s matches, but the goals proved decisive tallies in each game. The News caught up with Forster to talk about her recent success, team dynamics, and the squad’s future.

    Q You were just named Ivy League Player of the Week. Could you talk a little bit about what the week was like?

    A It was a pretty big week for us. We got three wins coming off our two losses in Chicago, so I think it was exactly what we needed going into Ivy play this weekend; to just gain some momentum and be in some close games where everyone could contribute and just build some confidence, and it was good that each game we got better and better, I think.

    Q You scored three game-winning goals [this past week].

    A [Laughs] Technically.

    Q Technically, sure. So how do you find yourself in the right place at the right time?

    A Well I guess that’s what it is, being in the right place at the right time. I don’t know, I guess just never stop working. You know we had our fair share of chances in the Iona and Central games, myself included, and we should’ve put some of them away earlier, but everyone just kept working hard and eventually found our way to the goal.

    Q Can you tell me a little bit more about the Iona game? It sounded wild.

    A We were up 1–0 until the last three minutes or so of the game, and just had a little mental lapse and a little defensive breakdown, and they ended up tying it up. But after losing in overtime to Loyola out in Chicago, we sort of got together and decided that we weren’t going to make a habit out of losing overtime games, because there’s nothing worse than playing an extra 20 minutes and walking away with a loss. We basically just decided A, we’re not going to lose any overtime games and B, we don’t want to lose at home. And then it was about, I think, two minutes into overtime, it was just sort of like a scramble. We got all the right bounces and it was me and the keeper [laughs].

    Q Was that the most memorable moment of the week for you?

    A Yeah it was a great week, three good wins, but what it comes down to is now is where it all starts to count … It’s great to be 5–3 going into Ivy play, but this is where it all starts to matter. In the long run it’s about winning these seven Ivy League games … The ultimate goal is to win the championship.

    Q So how’s the season been so far for the team?

    A I’ve been very, very happy with it so far. I think this is the most, I want to say this is the best, of the four years I’ve been here. This is the best team chemistry we’ve ever had, and I think that goes a long way both on the field and off the field as far as everyone’s work ethic and just being positive towards each other … The atmosphere of Ivy League games is just so different than anything else, it just really comes down to whatever team wants it more. I think right now our team is in a really good place. Working hard, working for each other.

    Q The team begins Ivy League play on Saturday. What are you most looking forward to?

    A Saturday’s the biggest game of our season so far, and it’s sort of a test of how prepared we are, what we’ve been doing since last November basically to prepare for the play again. Everything in the offseason, in the summer, preseason, nonconference play, it’s all going to be a test on Saturday. Everyone’s really excited and just anxious. I just want to get it underway.

    Q What can we expect from the team for the rest of the year?

    A Well, hopefully an Ivy League championship [laughs]. That would be ideal, but all we can do really is just keep working hard at practice, on the field, and just keep supporting one another.

    Q It’s the beginning of your senior year. How are you hoping to close out your Yale career?

    A I guess it really hits you that it’s the last season that you have, the last time you’re going to step on the field. We’ve all been, all of us seniors have been playing since we were little kids so, I think it’s finally becoming real. I’m just excited for these last Ivy games to be honest with you. There’s nothing like playing against these rivals, and it’s just a completely different atmosphere.

    Q Are you planning on continuing to play competitive soccer after graduation?

    A [Laughs] Probably not. No I mean, soccer’s been such a big part of my life for as long as I can remember that I’m sure I’ll continue to play in some respect whether it be a co-ed league or just for fun, but there’s never going to be another time where it’s going to be as competitive.

  5. W. SOCCER | Elis take two at home

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    After Tuesday’s 8–1 dismantling of St. Peter’s, the women’s soccer team (0,0 Ivy, 5–3) continued its three-game winning streak this weekend at Reese Stadium.

    In two high-tempo games this weekend, the Bulldogs came out victorious over Iona College (2–4) Friday night and Central Connecticut State University (1–6) Sunday evening.

    The first matchup of the weekend against Iona ended in spectacular overtime fashion when just one minute and 50 seconds into overtime, midfielder Meredith Speck ’15 slipped the ball between two Gaels to midfielder Kristen Forster ’13. Forster then beat the keeper to the ball and slammed it into the netting to beat Iona 2–1.

    “It wasn’t our ideal plan to go into overtime,” said Forster. But Forster added putting away the game and winning at home was a great feeling.

    Despite the 2–1 final score, the Bulldogs had plenty of scoring opportunities. With a total of 13 shots during the game, the Elis demonstrated their will to take the ball to the net and shoot often and accurately. The Bulldogs were also able to hold the Gaels to zero shots during the first half.

    “I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get the shutout,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “But I’m proud of them for the way they kept fighting.”

    The Elis kept fighting through the end of the weekend for another win and for the elusive shutout that slipped through their hands the past two games.

    Thirty-six minutes into the first half against Central Connecticut State University, Forster scored her second goal of the weekend. During a scramble in front of the Blue Devils’ net, midfielder Juliann Jeffrey ’14 crossed a pass that bounced off a defender. Forster stepped in and chipped it into the top of the net to score the only goal of the game for the Bulldogs.

    “It was good to get a shutout before next weekend,” Meredith said.

    The battles the Elis faced on the field during the weekend were not just in scoring and stopping goals. In last night’s game each team was issued a yellow card. Meredith said that this was one of the season’s more physical games, as both teams were giving it their all.

    The Elis won many of the close races for balls and worked to maintain control during both games. Forward Melissa Gavin ’15 said the team did particularly well possessing the ball and passing it around to find the optimal shot.

    “[We] were patient,” Gavin said.

    After the weekend, the Bulldogs remain undefeated at home.

    The Elis are looking forward to next weekend, when conference play beings.

    “Everything we do this week is about getting ready for Princeton,” Meredith said.

    The Bulldogs will take on Princeton at Reese Stadium on Saturday at 3 p.m. to kick off Ivy League play.

  6. W. SOCCER | Yale preps for home weekend

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    After an 8–1 blowout victory over the St. Peter’s Peacocks on Tuesday, the Yale woman’s soccer team (3–3) is looking for another couple of wins at home.

    Just one week before the start of Ivy League competition, the Elis are taking on the Iona College Gaels (2–3–1) on Friday night and the Central Connecticut State Devils (1–4) on Sunday afternoon.

    While the Bulldogs have not recently lined up against the Gaels, they have had a longstanding rivalry with the Devils, head coach Rudy Meredith said. “It’s always a really close game against Central,” Meredith said. “They’re a really well-coached team.”

    In anticipating fiercer competition, the Elis have been honing their skills in practice.

    The only goal the Bulldogs allowed the Peacocks to squeeze by them on Tuesday was due to losing a battle for position on a corner kick.

    “Most of the goals we have let in this year have been from corner kicks,” Meredith said. “We addressed the issue in practice yesterday.”

    According to Meredith, the Bulldogs also want to continue to put the ball in the net and create scoring chances. Earlier in the season, the Elis had trouble creating scoring opportunities. The Elis are hopeful they can continue their scoring momentum after the St. Peter’s game, added Meredith.

    Scoring goals and preventing them have not been the only issues the Elis have faced, however. They also have contended with injury. Goaltender Adele Jackson-Gibson ’13 tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) early last week, leaving the Bulldogs without their starting goalkeeper. Illness and injury have hindered the Bulldogs in establishing roles on the team.

    “We want to make sure we are getting better as a team and all try to stay healthy,” Meredith said. “We want to work on the things we have to do against Princeton.”

    With injuries among other hindrances, the Bulldogs are still thinking about what players to put in which positions for this weekend as well as for Princeton the following week.

    The Bulldogs are excited for tough competition this weekend, as it will help prepare them quickly for their upcoming conference games, Meredith said. The Elis have been thinking about scoring, defending and positioning all week. This weekend will test their skills before Ivy play begins next week.

    “This is one of those tough weekends because we’ve got Princeton next weekend,” said Meredith.

    The Bulldogs kickoff against the Gaels in Reese Stadium at 7 p.m. on Friday. After a day of rest, they will be back in Reese Stadium, Sunday at 4 p.m., to take on Central Connecticut.

    Conference games start for the Bulldogs the following weekend.

  7. W. SOCCER | Elis slide eight past Peacocks

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    Yale’s highest-scoring game of the season did not cast a spotlight on any one player, as more than half the starting lineup scored against Saint Peter’s on Tuesday.

    After a brief battle for consistent control at the beginning of the game, the women’s soccer team (3–3, 0–0 Ivy) dominated the Saint Peter’s Peacocks (1–7) in an 8–1 shellacking at Reese Stadium. Seven Elis scored goals, and Mary Kubiuk ’14 led the team with two. The Bulldogs improved to 2–0 at home so far this season.

    “I’m happy that we had seven different people score — that’s unusual in a game,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “Seven goals in a soccer game is uncommon, let alone having seven different scorers.”

    The Elis protected their territory from the Peacocks and kept the ball in the midfield and offensive zone for most of the game. During the first half, Yale granted the Peacocks only 4 shots and no corner kicks. Muriel Battaglia ’15 initiated scoring after a scramble in front of the Peacocks’ net, fighting through Peacock defenders to pound in a header off a well-placed corner kick by Frannie Coxe ’15.

    The Peacocks followed the Bulldogs’ first mark on the scoreboard with a short surge of ferocity, a fast break up the field and a hard blast on net from a distance. But goalkeeper Elise Wilcox ’15 crushed their momentum with a huge, diving save, and the Elis took off running.

    “We kept it simple, kept our players wide and spread out their defense,” Anne Song ’13 said. “That was the key to our scoring.”

    With five minutes left in the first half, Song stepped up and intercepted a pass between two opposing team members. Song sent the ball upfield to Georgiana Wagemann ’15, who slid an area pass to Kristen Forster ’13. Forster booted the ball past the Peacocks’ aggressive goalkeeper for Yale’s second goal.

    Just minutes later, Song stepped up to intercept a pass and again threaded the ball between the opposition downfield to Forster, who tapped it over to Kubiuk. The forward fought past a defender and chipped the ball over the fingers of the goalkeeper to put the Bulldogs up 3–0 at the end of the half.

    Frustrated by the three-goal margin at the half, St. Peter’s came out with fire in their bellies at the start at the second half. The Peacocks were all over the field, at first trying to control the ball, only to relinquish possession after a few minutes.

    With the ball back in their hands, the Bulldogs prepared to finish off the Peacocks with 37 minutes left in the game. Meredith Speck ’15 picked off another Peacock pass and sent it over to Forster in front of the net. Forster blazed by the last defender left in the Peacocks’ offside trap formation and beat the goalie. She sent a quick dish over to Melissa Gavin ’15, who tapped the ball into the net to put Yale up 4–0. Just four minutes later, the Bulldogs put away their fifth goal, and two minutes later they took a tenable 6–0 lead.

    With 22 minutes left, the Peacocks finally came through with a goal off their first corner kick.

    But the moment of success was short-lived as the Bulldogs lined up for the kickoff. Juliann Jeffrey ’14 blazed down the field and shot a precise pass from Paula Hagopian ’16 into the back of the net to restore Yale’s six-goal lead.

    Kubiuk added one more goal for good measure with 38 seconds left to bring the final score to 8–1.

    “It was great to get another win at home before Ivies start,” Song said.

    Yale will kick off Ivy League competition against Princeton on Sept. 22 at Reese Stadium.

  8. Jackson-Gibson ’13 hangs up jersey

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    Two-sport athlete Adele Jackson-Gibson ’13 bid an early goodbye to her Yale sports career last week.

    After suffering a season-ending injury in the women’s soccer team’s match against Dartmouth last October, goalkeeper Jackson-Gibson came back into action for the first three games of the 2012-’13 season. The dynamics keeper totalled 12 saves and earned a save percentage of .800 during the opening games of the season. But during last week’s match against Sacred Heart, the two-sport athlete tore her ACL when she jumped to make a save and landed hard on her left foot. Jackson-Gibson told the News she will not return to compete in soccer or track and field for the remainder of her time at Yale.

    “This is going to be one of the biggest mental challenges of my life so far. Sports have been a major part of my life for so long … I need to find a way to center myself and figure out what else I can bring to the table,” Jackson-Gibson said.

    The injury will take eight months to heal, Jackson-Gibson explained, adding that she expects to undergo surgery in October. Jackson-Gibson said she knew the Sept. 4 injury was serious when the pain did not recede after several minutes. She retired from the rest of the game. Soccer team captain Jenny Butwin ’13 said Jackson-Gibson always worked hard and pushed herself even in non-Ivy League games such as the match against Sacred Heart.

    “It was an amazing save,” Butwin said of the play that left Jackson-Gibson injured. “It was a play not any keeper I know would make. Every shot is a shot she wants to save. We know Adele’s personality is to let nothing by her. She [injured herself] playing the Adele way.”

    Jackson-Gibson was recruited to Yale after attending a Yale-Wesleyan soccer camp the summer after her sophomore year of high school. There, she caught the eye of both head women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith and Marc Davis, the head sprints coach of the track and field team, who was directing the camp’s warmups. Both Meredith and Davis soon offered her spots on the Bulldog roster.

    In track and field, Jackson-Gibson excelled in short sprints and jumps. After recovering from the fractured humerus she sustained during the game against Darthmouth last year, Jackson-Gibson set a personal record in the long jump. In the meet against Harvard, she won the long jump in a collegiate-best of 5.87 meters.

    Women’s track and field team captain Allie Rue ’13 mentioned Jackson-Gibson’s personal drive to get back up and compete in track after her humerus injury.

    “Adele is a person of really incredible character … It’s very sad to see her unable to compete,” Rue said.

    Jackson-Gibson mentioned the incredible support she has received from her teammates and classmates, saying that their encouragement is “the only reason I can smile every day.”

    She said she still plans on retaining an active role within the soccer and track and field teams this year.

    “Adele is the hardest-working player I’ve ever seen,” Butwin said. “I know she will be a big part of our success this year, even off the field.”

    Before her injury, Jackson-Gibson planned to join a professional soccer team abroad. While her goals are still possible — about half the members of the United States women’s national team have torn their ACLs — she said she still has to evaluate how far she can push herself after recovering from the injury.

    “I will always be an extremely active person,” Jackson-Gibson said. “Once I get better, I’ll be right back at it, trying to get back to where I was before.”

  9. W. SOCCER | Elis drop two games on road

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    The Elis (2–3) struggled to find their rhythm on the road last weekend and fell to two Chicago teams despite second half surges.

    After a 2–1 loss to the Loyola Ramblers (3–4) on Friday and a 2–0 loss to the Northwestern Wildcats (4–2–1) on Sunday, the Bulldogs return to campus to focus on their upcoming conference opponents.

    Facing off in Loyola Soccer Park, the Ramblers started the game with aggressive offensive play and controlled possession for most of the first half. With veteran Yale goalkeeper Adele Jackson-Gibson ’13 sidelined due to an ACL tear, Elise Wilcox ’15 and Rachel Ames ’16 split playing time in her place. Wilcox had a total of five saves this weekend and Ames made three.

    “Losing Adele was tough on the team, but we will bounce back as other players are being forced to step up,” head coach Rudy Meredith said.

    Jackson-Gibson was out for most of last season with a dislocated shoulder, and Wilcox started six matches in her stead.

    With 15 minutes left in the first half of the Loyola game, sophomore Sammy Gage found the back of the net and put a point on the board for the Ramblers. They entered halftime leading Yale 4–2 in shots.

    Hoping for a comeback, the Elis brought some momentum in the second half and took five shots on goal. In all five games this season, Yale has been slow to get going on offense.

    “Right now, we’re having trouble starting off the game.” Meredith said. “It’s as if we are in the Indy 500 and the flag goes up to signal the start, and others move but we don’t react.”

    Kristen Forster ’13 balanced the score at the 70 minute mark with an uplifting goal off a cross from forward Paula Hagopian ’16.

    With the game deadlocked at 1-1, Ames was able to fend off multiple Loyola attempts outside the 18, and the Bulldogs headed into overtime.

    But three minutes into the second contentious overtime, Loyola senior Ana Claudia Michelini headed in the game-winning goal. The Ramblers outshot the Elis 5–0 in the overtime periods.

    At Northwestern, the Bulldogs also came out slow, and the Wildcats took advantage of the early lull by knocking in two goals within a four-minute period midway through the first half.

    With a surge of second half energy, Melissa Gavin ’15 took two of Yale’s three shots on goal for the half, but none found the back of the net.

    Over the course of the game, Northwestern, a Big Ten conference member, outshot Yale 14-6.

    Team members said they viewed this weekend as a learning experience for future games, particularly for when they take on Ivy League powerhouse Princeton on Sept. 22.

    “We realized that we have a lot of potential, but need to play more as a unit. We found that we can definitely do that if we put our minds to it.” Gavin said. “We’re trying out different people in different positions in order to figure out who we are as a team.”

    The Bulldogs will continue non-conference play this Tuesday against Saint Peter’s University.

    Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. at Reese Stadium.

  10. W. SOCCER | Bulldogs head to the Windy City

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    As the women’s soccer team gears up for its pair of away games this weekend, it is looking to make the most of nonconference play. The Bulldogs (2–1) will head to Chicago, Ill. to face the Loyola Ramblers (1–4) on Friday night and the Northwestern University Wildcats (2–2–1) on Sunday afternoon.

    The Bulldogs will not see their first Ivy League matchup until Sept. 22, when they take on Princeton.

    “We have a lot of great players this year, but it’s still early in the season,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “I’m hoping that these games will give us an opportunity to really start playing together, as one team.”

    Yale is heading to Chicago with some confidence following a 3–0 defeat over Sacred Heart earlier this week. Forward Melissa Gavin ’15 and midfielder Muriel Battaglia ’15 both had second-half goals on Tuesday night leading the Bulldogs to victory.

    “Our team has plenty of young talent, and we are hoping to pull off both wins,” Meredith said. He added that it is difficult to predict the outcome for this weekend’s matchups because the team has some external factors working against it, including long hours spent traveling and having to play two games within 48 hours of each other.

    Gavin will be a key player to watch. She was Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2011 and has been a consistent scorer for the Bulldogs since last season.

    Goalkeeper Adele Jackson-Gibson ’13 continues to lead the team as well, with three game starts and a 1.35 goals-against average this year. She left the victory over Sacred Heart with an injury, however.

    Loyola will enter its home opener coming off of a four-game losing streak over the past few weeks, most recently falling to Northern Illinois. Junior midfielder Trisha Stonebraker is the team’s sole scorer this season, with one goal. The Ramblers have been unsuccessful on the road, suffering through four straight shutouts. Yale and Loyola have not faced each other in regular season competition in nearly a decade.

    Northwestern will be taking on the Bulldogs after its recent 2–2 double overtime deadlock with the University of Colorado. Junior Kate Allen and sophomore Georgia Waddle are the Wildcats’ leading scorers with three goals apiece.

    Kickoff against Loyola is set for 8 p.m. Eastern time on Friday night at the Loyola Soccer Park. Yale will then travel across the city to play Northwestern at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

  11. W. SOCCER | Gavin ’15 inspires 3–0 shutout

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    The women’s soccer team produced a dominant display in its first home game of the season with a 3–0 victory over the Sacred Heart Pioneers on Tuesday evening.

    The match started out looking as though it might go either way with both offenses probing without creating any clear chances, though the Pioneers scored on themselves to give Yale an early lead. But the tide turned when Melissa Gavin ’15 curled the ball on a corner kick past the Pioneers’ keeper and into the far corner of the goal to put Yale up by two. The Elis took control of the rest of the game and came off the field with a shutout.

    “I think the most important thing we can take from today is that we have a lot of potential,” Gavin said. “If we play together, and work for each other off the ball, we can be dangerous this season.”

    Sacred Heart (2–3–0) started strong, and almost found an opening when Ashley Moore shimmied past two defenders, only to strike a tame cross straight at goalkeeper Adele Jackson-Gibson’13. The Bulldogs (2–1–0) were passing the ball fluently in midfield, but struggled to find their rhythm in the final third.

    Still, they took the lead in the 18th minute, when Gavin swung a free kick into the box, where a Pioneers defender inadvertently put the ball into her own net.

    Minutes after taking the lead, the Elis were dealt a large blow, as Jackson-Gibson was forced to leave the game with a knee injury after an awkward landing. Jackson-Gibson had been playing in just her third game after recovering from an injury that had sidelined her for a substantial chunk of last season. Elise Wilcox ’15 stepped into goal to relieve Jackson-Gibson.

    Both teams showed resolute defending and great pressing in midfield. Sacred Heart came close to equalizing in the 38th minute when Ashley Roth fired a header on goal, only to be denied by a superb Bulldog block. Soon after, Jacquelyn Roth nearly capitalized on a defensive mixup, but only managed to shoot straight at Wilcox who caught the shot and punted it back to her teammates.

    The Bulldogs came out strong in the second half, and Kristen Forster ’15 almost doubled Yale’s lead when she directed a free header over the crossbar. The Elis continued to press and earned a corner kick in 56th minute. Gavin stepped up to take the kick and found the back of the net to bring the score to 2–0.

    After Gavin’s goal, the Elis played with an added confidence. Had it not been for some end-game defense by the Pioneers, and profligacy in front of goal by the Elis, Yale might have won by an even larger margin. Anne Song ’13 was released by an exquisite through ball from Gavin and fired wide with only the keeper to beat. Shannon McSweeney ’14 found herself unmarked off a corner but sent it high, and minutes later, Gavin nearly doubled her tally for the night with a curling shot that sailed just wide.

    But the Elis were not to be denied their third goal, and Muriel Battaglia ’15 nodded home her first of the season off a Frannie Coxe ’15 corner.

    “The positives today were that we managed a shutout, and scored three goals”, head coach Rudy Meredith said. “The negative was that we need to play the way we played in the second half right from the start. We need to make sure we move forward with each game, not backwards.”

    Yale will travel to Chicago over the weekend to play Loyola on Friday and Northwestern on Sunday.