Women’s soccer loses to Yale University in one-goal shutout

by Emily Wechsler | 10/12/15 6:01pm

The women’s soccer team failed to replace the goose egg in their Ivy League win column this weekend, losing 0-1 to Yale University on Saturday evening at Reese Stadium in New Haven, Connecticut. Despite out-shooting the Bulldogs 11-5 and putting the ball in dangerous positions many times, the Big Green could not find the back of the net.

Yale, which entered the contest on a five-game win-less streak, brought its record to 4-5-2, 1-2 Ivy with the win. In shutting out the Big Green (7-3-2, 0-2-1 Ivy) the Bulldogs scored their first Ivy goal this season and gave head coach Rudy Meredith his 200th victory at Yale.

With the loss, Dartmouth fell in the Ivy League and is currently tied for last place with Brown University, despite averaging 2.4 goals per game — the second highest in the conference.

The Big Green started the game well and put pressure on Yale’s defense. Dartmouth took more shots than Yale and — over the course of the game — earned 10 corner kicks to Yale’s zero. Time and time again, the Big Green created chances only to miss its opportunities just wide or ricochet shots of the posts. Neither team managed to score in the first half, and the two sides entered their locker rooms stalemated at 0-0.

Two minutes after halftime, Yale freshman Keri Cavallo came out and netted the eventual game-winner. The Big Green failed to clear the ball out of the box, and the Bulldogs took advantage. In a scramble in front of the net, Yale freshman Sofia Griff was able to poke it to Cavallo, who fired a shot inside the near post. Cavallo was awarded Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the play.

Dartmouth responded with a streak of opportunities, but did not show the composure it needed to get the ball between the posts.

“We played well, but the result obviously wasn’t what we were hoping for,” co-captain Jackie Friedman ’16 said. “But I think that goes back to that’s just sometimes the way it works in soccer. We had more shots than them, we had more opportunities but we didn’t finish the ones that we had. They got a few, and they put it away.”

Co-captain Lucielle Kozlov ’16 identified Dartmouth’s defensive unit’s ability to keep the team in the game.

“This season we’ve been so solid defensively, so when we don’t score, I put that on us like we’re not doing our job as forwards,” Kozlov said.

After entering the Ivy League season 6-1-1, Dartmouth has failed to win a single conference contest. The parity in the Ivy League leaves game results up to whichever team performs better or converts more opportunities on a given day, Kozlov said.

“[It doesn’t all] come down to skill, because we’re all kind of on the same level,” Kozlov said. “It’s just a matter of who’s going to get that scrappy goal, who’s going to fight a little harder.”

Friedman said that the energy the team feels at home on Burnham Field was missing at this away game. Dartmouth was able to level the match and force overtime against Princeton University after the Tigers scored first last weekend, though the team lacked the extra spark to do the same at Yale, Friedman said.

With the result, the Big Green was left wanting more, but recognized that they had done good things. Koslov cited Dartmouth’s ability to move the ball forward from the defensive end and to make either good crosses or earn corners when on the attack.

“This one was probably the most frustrating game of the year because we did have some good attacking chances,” head coach Ron Rainey said. “The positive is that we created a lot of corner kicks, and we were above average in our possession, especially in the first half.”

Dartmouth was in a similarly frustrating position after three conference matches last year, when the team found itself winless at 0-3-0 in the League. Yet three points was better than the one the women have now, which may make the difference for them when they try to match last year’s second-place finish in the conference.

“From here, we’re just going to have to change our goals and how we’re going to look at the rest of the season,” Friedman said. “It’s going to be hard now, if not impossible, to win the Ivy League at this point, and that’s always a hard way to view your season.”

Still, Friedman said, the team will be looking to learn something from every game and do its best throughout the season. The captains, she said, will put particular emphasis on encouraging the younger players to play hard and get more game minutes moving forward.

“It’s been hard particularly for the seniors who won’t have another chance, but all of us are competitive people and no one wants to lose, so it’s pretty easy to want to go out and win,” Friedman said.

Dartmouth will take the road again to face the University of Pennsylvania this Saturday at 5 p.m.