McCauley’s OT Goal Caps Exhilarating 2-1 Win at Columbia

Ashley McCauley celebrates the game-winning goal in overtime. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Battle Back After Late Goal by Lions

NEW YORK - With Yale's offense frustrated for most of the game, things looked bleak for the Bulldogs when Columbia finally broke the scoreless tie Sunday afternoon in New York by scoring with just 4:26 left in regulation. But after a timeout the Bulldogs regrouped, generated a corner, and got the game-tying goal from sophomore forward Mia Rosati. They then went into overtime for the fifth time in 15 games, and 4:17 into the extra session senior forward Ashley McCauley delivered the game-winner for a 2-1 victory.

The win was the fifth in a row for Yale (11-5, 5-1 Ivy League), with the last three all coming by one goal. It was also the second straight time where the Bulldogs fell behind in a league game -- last Sunday at Penn they trailed 2-0 -- and rallied to win in overtime. They remain in sole possession of second place in the Ivy League, one game behind first-place Princeton.

"This team has confidence in themselves, and they know when the chips are down they still have a chance," said head coach Pam Stuper. "In the past we'd always fight back just to tie and would wind up losing in overtime. This year, when we're down, we find a way to win. A lot of that is due to the leadership we have on this team, which starts with the captain, [senior back] Julia Weiser."

The Bulldogs also have one of the best offenses in school history -- their 45 goals this season are fifth on Yale's all-time list. But the Lions negated that offense Sunday, allowing Yale just five shots on goal in regulation. The Bulldogs can usually count on their penalty corner unit to generate several scoring chances each game, but on Sunday neither team had a corner until there were less than nine minutes left in the first half. Yale finished the game with just five corner opportunities.

"Columbia is a good team that plays an aggressive game," said Stuper. "But we also created some of our own problems, waiting for balls instead of moving to them."

Yale also had a goal waved off after a corner late in the first half. The ruling was that the Bulldogs did not take the ball out of the scoring circle, as required, after it was inserted.

The Lions were looking for an offensive spark as well, and they finally got one late in the second half. A minute after being denied a goal by a nice blocker save from junior goalkeeper Katie Bolling, Columbia (7-8, 1-4 Ivy League) used a fast break to generate a corner. The initial shot was blocked, but forward Jane Gartland had time to gather in the rebound and slide it past Bolling.

Stuper then called a timeout. With just 4:26 to play, she reminded her team that two years ago many of them had been a part of a four-goal outburst in the second half at Hofstra that took less than four minutes. That also happened to be the day that McCauley scored the first four goals of her collegiate career. Now, they just needed to get one to tie.

After Columbia back Desi Scherf broke up a scoring opportunity for McCauley deep in Columbia territory, the Bulldogs were awarded a penalty corner. They set up sophomore back Erin Carter for a shot that Rosati deflected in high.

"Carter has been hitting the corners well," Stuper said. "Sure enough, she got it over to the right post and Mia was there to deflect it."

It was the sixth goal of the season for Rosati, who has quietly moved into third on the team in goals (behind McCauley's 13 and Carter's seven). Five of her goals have come in the last six games.

Entering overtime, Stuper sent in senior Charlotte Goins in relief of Bolling, who finished with three saves.

"Katie did a fabulous job in the first 70 minutes," Stuper said. "Char has proven through the years that she's great in that situation. She has great explosiveness and very good hands. She likes that kind of pressure."

Columbia goalie Erin Conway came out to kick away a loose ball before McCauley could get to it two minutes into overtime. Conway also kicked away a shot by senior midfielder Katie Cantore right after that. The game finally turned when sophomore midfielder Dinah Landshut controlled the ball deep down the right side of the field and got a whistle against Columbia. Off the self-start, she drove into the scoring circle and drew the attention of the defense before feeding the ball to McCauley right in front of the goal for the game-winner.

"It was similar to the overtime win over Cornell," Stuper said. "Dinah did the same thing to set us up. She got the defense moving and saw Ashley open in front of the net. In a situation like that you've got to get it to your leading scorer."

The two points for that goal give McCauley 97 for her career, one short of the school record held by Emily Montgomery '78.

Yale ends the regular season next Saturday vs. Brown, a 1 p.m. start at Johnson Field in which Cantore, Goins, McCauley, Weiser and fellow seniors Stephanie Colantonio and Lesley Kiger will be honored in Senior Day ceremonies.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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