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Bulldogs Back Home To Host Hartford

Christina Bradley. (photo by Sam Rubin ?95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Christina Bradley. (photo by Sam Rubin ?95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Two Teams Meet In New Haven For First Time Since 2005

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A busy week for the Yale women's soccer team begins on Wednesday night when Hartford comes to town. Kickoff at Reese Stadium is slated for 7 p.m. The Bulldogs (3-1) then host Sacred Heart on Friday and travel to Fairfield on Sunday.

Here are some storylines for Wednesday's game with the Hawks:

•  Head coach Rudy Meredith has been stressing defense throughout the season so he could not have been pleased with his team's performance in that regard over the weekend. The Bulldogs yielded eight goals to a powerful Georgetown team and then allowed three against Towson. Fortunately, Yale had a strong game offensively on Sunday, rallying from a 3-1 second-half deficit to outscore Towson 4-3. Paula Hagopian scored the game-winning goal in overtime.

• Yale will need to be on top of its game against Hartford. The Hawks (3-1-3) have posted three straight shutouts and have yielded only three goals all season.

• Freshman Geneva Decker continues to provide Yale's offense with a spark. She started Sunday's comeback with her third goal of the season.

•  Hagopian's overtime goal was Yale's first this season that wasn't scored by Decker or Melissa Gavin. Gavin leads the team and the Ivy League with four goals.

Meredith Speck's versatility continues to benefit the Bulldogs. She can play just about anywhere on the field. Sunday, her playmaking abilities were on display as she assisted on three of Yale's four goals. She was named the CollegeSportsMadness Ivy League player of the week.

• Since taking over the goalkeeping responsibilities for Hartford three games ago, freshman Jessica Jurg has not allowed a goal. She was named the America East co-rookie of the week after posting shutouts of both Holy Cross and American at Fairfield's Tournament over the weekend.

• Six different players have scored Hartford's seven goals on the season.

• The Hawks were the preseason America East favorite, according to a poll of the conference head coaches. Hartford went 11-5-3 last year and lost to Stony Brook in the America East title game.

• The two teams are playing in New Haven for the first time since 2005. After a five-year hiatus, the series resumed last year in West Hartford. Yale scored twice in the final 10 minutes, including the first career goal from Ally Grossman, to escape with a 2-1 win. Kristen Forster '13 scored the game-winner with just 26 seconds left in the second half.

• Hartford won the first 16 meetings in the series, but Yale has won the last five.

•  Live stats and Yale All-Access video will be available for the game. 

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity