Sept. 13, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale Bulldogs entered Saturday's game vs. Holy Cross looking for some more scoring from their upperclassmen -- the lone goal in their first two games had come from a freshman. Three different players answered the call by scoring, and junior goalie Charlotte Goins made four saves, to finish off a 3-1 win over the Crusaders.
Freshman midfielder Dinah Landshut had Yale's only goal of the season entering the game, but by the end of the day she had company. First, though, the Bulldogs had to keep Holy Cross (1-3) off the scoreboard 10 minutes in when a shot that was partially blocked bounced behind Goins and towards the net. Landshut swooped in for the defensive save, sending the ball harmlessly to the side.
The Bulldogs found themselves facing off against the 2007 Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year Erin Singleton in this one, and she impressed early on with a diving save of a hard shot from freshman back Taylor Sankovich after junior midfielder Katie Cantore drew a penalty corner 15 minutes in.
Goins matched that with a diving stop of her own on a penalty corner for Holy Cross two minutes later to keep the game scoreless, and shortly after that the Bulldog offense broke through. After a long ball was played out of the Yale backfield, junior forward Ashley McCauley emerged from a pack of players at midfield with control of the ball and no-one in front of her. Singleton came out to pressure her, but McCauley calmly drove wide right to draw Singleton out of position and then deposited the ball in the far left corner of the empty net.
"Erin has worked our camps -- she's a phenomenal person and a very good goalie," Stuper said. "She has size (five-foot-ten) and athleticism, and she's not an easy one to score on. We knew she would be aggressive, and I was really proud of Ashley for recognizing that -- forcing her to come out and then scoring."
Freshman Mia Rosati just missed knocking in a deflection after a Cantore shot was blocked four minutes later, but the Bulldogs took advantage of a corner right after that. Landshut's shot was blocked, but senior Jayna Whitcher was able to stuff in the rebound to extend the lead to 2-0 at 26:38.
Whitcher's goal came only a minute after she came in off the bench, and Yale's depth continued to be a factor on the hot and humid day. For the third time in as many games, every field player on the roster saw significant minutes. The Bulldogs also continued to receive contributions from their freshmen.
"[Freshman back] Erin Carter came off the bench, played both right and left back, and did a really nice job for us," said Stuper.
Singleton turned aside a pair of Yale corners late in the half, including a save with her hand protector on a Sankovich shot with less than four minutes remaining in the first.
With Singleton's solid play, the Bulldogs had reason to be concerned when Holy Cross' Katie Aylward scored three minutes into the second half. Yale could not gain any breathing room despite a pair of corners midway through the half, and a five-minute penalty on Rosati left the Bulldogs a man down while clinging to the one-goal lead. When Rosati returned Singleton turned aside one of her shots with a nice kick save, and Landshut sent a shot high off a penalty corner shortly after that.
Cantore finally got the Bulldogs the insurance goal they needed with less than seven minutes left in the game. After a shot by junior back Julia Weiser was blocked, Cantore controlled the ball high in the circle, then dribbled to get herself just enough space to turn and fire a shot in off of her backhand.
The goal, the fourth of Cantore's career, was a fitting chance at recognition for a player who usually specializes in doing the type of little things that do not show up in the stats.
"I told Katie that the difference between last year and this year is that, instead of being the most underrated player in the league, she's going to be a scorer," said Stuper. "That part of her game has really gotten stronger."
The Bulldogs had to make it through the final 4:14 down a man when Carter was whistled for a penalty, but they kept the Crusaders from threatening and even generated a golden chance of their own that forced Singleton to charge out and take down a hard-driving Rosati. Yale (1-2) ended with a 17-7 edge in shots and an 11-3 edge in penalty corners.
"More opportunities means more goals," said Stuper. "We were finishing today, and we weren't in our first two games."
Yale opens Ivy League play in its next game, at Harvard next Saturday.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity