September 8, 2007

Bulldogs Drop Ivy Opener at Princeton, 2-0

Sept. 8, 2007

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PRINCETON, N.J. - A chance to make an early statement in the race for the Ivy League title slipped through Yale's grasp Saturday afternoon as defending champion Princeton topped the Bulldogs 2-0. The Tigers enjoyed a 16-2 edge in shots on goal, but sophomore goalkeeper Charlotte Goins kept her team in the game until the end by making 13 saves.

Both teams entered the game with 0-2 records after facing nationally-ranked opponents at the start of the season. The Bulldogs could not keep the momentum going from their hard-fought 1-0 loss at No. 3 UConn Wednesday, however, as the Tigers gained control early on. Yale did have the first two shots of the game, but one was stopped by Tiger keeper Cynthia Wray and one went wide. After that the next 13 shots of the half came off Princeton sticks, thanks largely to an 8-2 Tiger edge in penalty corners.

"I think we were unsure of ourselves at the start of the game," head coach Pam Stuper said.

Goins stopped Kaitlyn Perrelle's shot on Princeton's first corner of the day four minutes in, then got her right leg out to kick away a shot from Sarah Reinprecht on the next corner. Goins also anticipated Perrelle's shot from right in front of the goal after the third corner to keep the Tigers scoreless.

Sophomore forward Ashley McCauley generated a corner for Yale nine minutes in, but the Bulldogs' goal was waved off due to an infraction and the game remained scoreless.

Goins got some help from her defense when, after a Yale turnover, she had to come racing out to try to disrupt the Princeton attack. That left Leah Hoagland with an open net once the ball got to her, but senior back Beth Raveche knocked Hoagland's shot away for a defensive save.

The Tigers continued peppering Goins with shots, and she had answers for almost all of them. She went airborne and used her stick to knock away one high shot with 8:30 left in the half, but right after that Princeton finally broke through. Holly McGarvie was open in front after a battle for the ball, and slid the ball in at 27:14.

That prompted a Yale timeout, and the rest of the half was played more evenly. Freshman midfielder/back Marissa Waldemore broke up the last Princeton possession deep in Yale territory as time ran out in the half.

Princeton had three penalty corners in a span of less than two minutes early in the second half, but Goins made two saves and the third shot went wide. The Bulldogs then generated some of their best chances of the day but were hurt by near misses. A deflection by senior forward Cat Lindroth went just wide on one possession, and on the next one Lindroth just missed controlling a nice feed from sophomore midfielder Katie Cantore with the Princeton defense back on its heels.

"In the second half we started to play like we are capable of," Stuper said. "There were glimpses of the way we played against UConn. There were some good attacking opportunities, but we didn't have enough."

With the temperature in the 90s on the turf at Class of 1952 Stadium and no cloud cover from the hot sun, the game became more and more of a test of wills as the day wore on. The Bulldogs substituted aggressively, including the first action of the year for junior forward Alyssa Jethani. Battling through the injury that had sidelined her for the first two games, Jethani sparked a nice sequence by battling for the ball and passing it to McCauley, whose crossing pass just missed the stick of junior forward Jayna Whitcher in front of the goal. Thirty seconds later Jethani found Whitcher for a reverse stick chip that sailed just high.

"It was good to have Alyssa back," said Stuper. "She did a nice job when she was in there."

McCauley took a ball to the body after that but remained in the game. Princeton re-established control with four straight corners, though a Tiger goal with 14 minutes to play was waved off because a player had kicked the ball.

Yale's last chance to get back in the game came when senior forward/midfielder Harriet Thayer drew a corner with 8:39 to play. The Bulldogs called timeout to set up the play, but senior back Lorrie Kiger's shot went wide.

Goins, who now has 37 saves in Yale's first three games, made her final stop right before the Tigers got the back-breaker. Schmidt fed Reinprecht off a corner to make it 2-0 with only 1:42 left.

Princeton, the 15-time league champions, then finished off its 15th consecutive win in league play.

Yale returns to action next Friday at Hofstra (4:00 p.m.).

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

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