October 12, 2008

Second-Half Surge Lifts No. 4 UNC Past Yale, 3-1

Oct. 12, 2008

Box Score

NEWTON, Mass. - The Yale Bulldogs got exactly what they were looking for 90 seconds into Sunday's neutral-site game against No. 4 UNC at Boston College: a quick goal. Junior forward Ashley McCauley's tally off an assist by senior forward Alyssa Jethani gave the Bulldogs the chance to put the pressure on the Tar Heels, and they did that for more than 40 minutes. But a trio of UNC goals early in the second half changed the momentum, and the Tar Heels avoided the Yale upset bid with a 3-1 win. Sophomore goalkeeper Katie Bolling made a career-high 15 saves.

McCauley started the scoring by one-timing a cross from Jethani, who drove the baseline after junior midfielder Katie Cantore got the ball up the right side. The Bulldogs kept the Tar Heels from threatening for much of the rest of the half, as Bolling only had to make four saves to keep UNC off the scoreboard heading into halftime.

"After the game, UNC coach Karen Shelton made a point of complimenting our team," said Yale head coach Pam Stuper. "Getting that type of respect from an opponent like that means something. I thought we were able to control the first half, but at halftime UNC was able to regroup. That's a tribute to them."

The score stayed 1-0 Yale until 43:23, when a penalty corner gave the Tar Heels a chance to even things up. Kiki Norbuis took the feed from the stick stopper, dribbled to her left, and fired one in. It was UNC's only goal on 11 penalty corners for the game.

Five minutes later UNC (11-3) took the lead as Britt van Beek used a pretty reverse stick chip and deposited one in the upper right corner from the left side for her ninth goal of the year.

Teryn Brill added a goal at 56:06 off an Illse Davids assist to make the score 3-1.

This marked the fifth time this season Yale has lost by either one goal or two goals, and three of those losses have come in the last two weeks against teams either ranked or receiving votes in the national poll.

"I think we've really learned a lot over these last few weeks," Stuper said. "Our players are taking what they've learned in practice and applying it to games just like we would expect. If we continue to make steady progress, we'll be successful over our final seven games."

Bolling now has 39 saves in the last three games, and her minutes played total for the season finally qualifies her for the NCAA leaders in save percentage. She is currently at .838, which should place her atop the national rankings when they are released Monday. None of the players in last week's rankings have a save percentage higher than .824 right now.

All this comes after Bolling spent her freshman season in a backup role and did not play in any games.

"She's done a really good job for us," Stuper said. "It's impressive how far she's come."

The game was played at Boston College's field and was part of a multiple sclerosis fundraiser. Following Yale-UNC, BC played Dartmouth. Both games honored BC senior forward Kathleen Murphy, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in April 2007. Black and orange ribbons were distributed to fans attending the game, and all monies raised will be donated to the National MS Society. In addition, all four teams wore orange wristbands with "BCFH #17" in support of Murphy. At half-time of the BC game, a special presentation involving the MS Society was held.

Yale (2-8) returns to Ivy League play with a game at Dartmouth next Saturday at Noon.

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