Huskies Get Game-Winner with 12:15 Left in Game
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale gave No. 7 UConn all it could handle Sunday afternoon at Johnson Field, rallying from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game 3-3 late in the second half. But the Husky offense, which had 39 goals in the last nine games, finally proved too much. Forward Melissa Gonzalez' goal with 12:15 left was the game-winner, and UConn tacked on another with 5:21 left for the 5-3 final.
Yale is one of only two teams to have scored three goals against UConn (13-1, 3-0 Big East), which has five shutouts on the season. The back-and-forth action started just 74 seconds in on a goal from midfielder/forward Cara Silverman. The Bulldogs tied things up five minutes later on a goal by sophomore back Erin Carter, who now has four goals in the last five games.
The Huskies went back ahead 90 seconds later, as Silverman skillfully redirected a pass from forward Loren Sherer past Yale senior goalkeeper Charlotte Goins. Those two also combined on the next goal, with Sherer scoring and Silverman assisting.
Yale (6-5, 2-1 Ivy League) kept UConn goalie Andrea Mainiero busy throughout the game. She was caught out of position 13 minutes in, but the Husky defense swarmed kept the Bulldogs from getting a shot off. Yale did get a penalty corner, but Mainiero made the save on a shot by Carter. She later punched away an aerial from sophomore midfielder Dinah Landshut midway through the first.
The Bulldogs finally broke through 91 seconds before halftime. After sophomore forward Mia Rosati intercepted a pass deep in UConn territory, she worked a give-and-go with senior forward Ashley McCauley to perfection. Mainiero got a piece of Rosati's shot, but it bounced past her and into the goal to pull Yale within one. It was Rosati's first goal since the season opening 7-1 win over Sacred Heart.
"Mia played very well on the forward line," head coach Pam Stuper said. "All the forwards did; we used everyone."
The Bulldogs had a 9-5 edge in shots for the first half, but UConn reversed that trend in the second half to the tune of a 10-3 shot advantage. But Yale did take advantage of a penalty corner to tie the game, as Landshut blasted in a pass from senior midfielder Katie Cantore with 19:17 left.
But any thoughts of Yale knocking off the Huskies began dissipating as UConn got five straight penalty corners and seized offensive momentum. Goins kept her team in the game with some spectacular saves. This was her first start of the season, as she and junior goalkeeper Katie Bolling had been splitting time.
"We felt Char deserved an opportunity for a start," Stuper said. "She made some great saves. If it wasn't for her UConn would have scored a lot more goals, especially in the second half."
Gonzalez' goal gave UConn the lead for good, and one by midfielder Jestine Angelini with 5:21 left added to the frustration for Yale. The high shot hit off a pair of Bulldogs and Goins had no chance to stop it.
"Defensively, we didn't play our finest game," Stuper said. "We got ourselves in trouble too much. You can't be off in the circle against a top-10 team. But on the flip side, our attack in the circle was great. To be able to score that many goals against UConn -- I'm proud of the kids for that. We're really playing some good hockey."
Yale kept battling to the end, and Cantore drew a penalty corner as time expired, but the shot went wide.
Yale returns to Ivy League play with a game vs. Dartmouth at Johnson Field next Saturday at noon.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity