Women’s soccer secures big win over Merrimack but loses to Yale
The Big Green followed a strong effort against Merrimack College with a loss to Yale on Saturday.
Dartmouth women’s soccer started off a three-game road stretch by splitting its two games this week, with a 4-0 win over Merrimack College on Tuesday and a tough 3-1 loss to Ivy League opponent Yale University over homecoming weekend.
Tuesday afternoon in North Andover, MA, the Big Green came out strong from the first whistle against Merrimack. Only 36 seconds in, Kat Grgic ’22 found Allie Winstanley ’23 with a long cross, and Winstanley quickly took advantage of her space to send a high ball straight into the back of the net, out of reach of the Merrimack keeper.
After giving the Big Green an early lead, Winstanley was nowhere near finished. Her next goal came in the 10th minute off an assist from Isabella Villaflor ’23, and she scored yet again in the 38th minute with an assist from Hayley Soriano ’20. Winstanley’s first half hat trick of her Dartmouth career gave the Big Green a solid 3-0 lead going into the half.
Dartmouth maintained control in the second half, outshooting Merrimack 7-3 and pulling three corner kicks to the Warriors’ one. Charlotte Esty ’20 finished off a great team performance with her second goal of the season off an assist from Ellie Geier ’23, rewarding the Big Green’s 90-minute performance with one last goal in the 76th minute.
“Yale is a stronger team than Merrimack was, but as a group I think we came out and did what we had to do and had a good team win against Merrimack,” said head coach Ron Rainey after the game on Tuesday.
Two-thirds of the way into her freshman season, Winstanley now has seven goals, the most of any Dartmouth women’s soccer player in four years, and it does not look like she plans on stopping anytime soon. Going into the Yale game on Saturday, although Winstanley did not score, she nonetheless came out strong with four shots, three of which were on goal.
The first half in New Haven was competitive. After a penalty shot was saved by Yale goaltender Alyssa Fagel, the Bulldogs found the back of the net first in the 29th minute, but Dartmouth quickly responded just before the half with an equalizer from Erin Kawakami ’21. Zoe Enright ’20 sent a long cross in from the right wing to find Kawakami in the center of the field just outside the six yard box. Kawakami easily settled the ball and beat her defender to then slide the ball just underneath the feet of Fagel.
The score remained 1-1 at the half, but unfortunately for the Big Green, Yale would capitalize off two corner kicks in the second half in the 56th and 67th minutes.
“We competed well especially throughout the first half of the game,” Rainey said of the different team performances. “But Yale was just a little bit better than us in the second half.”
Yale outshot Dartmouth 14-8, but in the end only five shots for each team were on goal. The loss brings Dartmouth to 0-3 in conference play and 8-4 overall, with five games left in the season.
Rainey said that, in looking at the Yale game, it came down to the Big Green not playing as well as it could in just a few key moments.
“We were talking after the game and we think there are just five or seven plays per half that we have to be better at and moments we have to be a little bit tougher and be better in our challenges — moments we just have to possess a little bit better, moments we have to be a little cleaner, technically, and maybe more precise when we are finishing,” Rainey said.
Looking ahead, the Big Green has five more games remaining, four of which are in conference play. It has a week-long break before traveling to the University of Pennsylvania next Saturday, and after a Tuesday game against Southern Illinois University, it rounds out Ivy League play with Saturday matchups against Columbia University, Harvard University and Cornell University. The Big Green will look to rekindle its nonconference magic and boost its Ivy League record before the end of the season.