Oct. 14, 2007
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - No. 18 Syracuse scored four times in the second half to break open what was a 1-1 game, beating Yale 5-2 at Johnson Field Sunday afternoon. The loss snaps the Bulldogs' six-game winning streak.
The Bulldogs came out firing, showing no residual physical effects of the previous day's emotional double-overtime game in which they beat archrival Harvard. Three minutes in senior forward Cat Lindroth's cross set up sophomore forward Ashley McCauley, but she shot it just wide. Four minutes later, after junior forward Alyssa Jethani sent a shot wide, the Bulldogs got their first penalty corner of the day. Orange goalkeeper Heather Hess stopped both the initial shot and senior forward Harriet Thayer's follow.
Syracuse (12-4) battled back and drew three straight corners, but could not convert on any of them. Yale sophomore goalkeeper Charlotte Goins hit the turf to stop the last one, and shortly after that Thayer set up Jethani for a shot from a tough angle that went wide. That prompted a Syracuse timeout as the Orange attempted to regroup.
At the 22:36 mark Jessica Lerew slipped one past Goins amidst heavy traffic in front of the cage. The Bulldogs continued to generate scoring opportunities, but Hess kicked away a shot by Lindroth with nine minutes left in the half, and junior midfielder Laura Pierce sent a shot wide after Thayer stole the ball and fed her from the right side.
Two minutes after that Pierce got another chance, and this one she converted. McCauley got the ball behind the defense on a fast break but was unable to get off a clean shot in front of the net. Still, she was able to regain control of the ball and send it back to an open Lindroth at the top of the circle. Lindroth lined one toward the net that Pierce was able to get her stick on, sending it dribbling past Hess and in to tie the game at 30:26. It was Pierce's first collegiate goal.
"Laura did a great job for us coming off the bench, playing where we needed her at midfield and forward in a new role," Stuper said. "We were playing well, and she provided the goal that we needed."
The Orange celebrated a goal briefly a minute after that, but that one was waved off because a Syracuse player had touched the ball with her foot. Syracuse did get a pair of corner opportunities in the closing moments, but senior back Beth Raveche deflected one to the turf and cleared it away, then Goins smothered the final one with time expired for the first half.
The tone of the second half was set early on, as Lelia Sacre scored off a Syrcause corner by sending the ball high into the corner of the net eight minutes in. Four minutes later Sacre snuck a hard shot past Goins' outstretched right leg after another corner.
Hess stopped Raveche's shot on a Yale corner with 22 minutes to play, and when Brittany Angellella converted another Orange corner into a 4-1 lead Yale called time.
"We started getting sloppy in the circle in the second half," Stuper said. "We allowed them to generate too much with our mistakes. They have a very good corner unit, with players that can hit the ball in the corners and players that can get in position for rebounds."
Yale (7-6, 2-2 Ivy) responded with a goal from McCauley, assisted by Pierce, to get within two goals with 14:33 left in the game. But the corners kept coming for Syracuse, as the Orange finished with 11 for the half and 18 for the game. That kept the Bulldogs from gaining any offensive momentum, and Jessica Lerew tacked on a goal in the final minute to make the score 5-2.
Goins finished with 11 saves while Hess had five.
This was Yale's third game against a nationally ranked opponent and the second one that was not decided until the second half.
"It was a great opportunity to play a top 20 team and see what we can do," Stuper said. "Beating a team like this is the next step."
Yale returns to Ivy League play with a game at Penn Friday at 7:15 p.m.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity