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Bulldogs Blank Howard In Season Opener

Fran Steele (Steve Musco photo)
Fran Steele (Steve Musco photo)

Three First-Half Goals Lift Yale To Third Straight Season-Opening Win

Yale couldn't have asked for a better start to the 2018 season. The Bulldogs dominated the first 45 minutes, scored three times and cruised to a 3-0 victory over Howard in Washington, D.C.

Ciara Ostrander, Noelle Higginson and Sarah Jordan each scored. Higginson added a pair of assists, while Alexandra McCraven and Kristen Enriquez each had one assist.

Goalkeepers Alyssa Fagel (1 save) and Jane Buckley (1 save) combined on the shutout.

Yale outshot the Bison 9-1 in the first half. And it didn't take long for one of the shots to find the back of the net. It came at the 14:11 mark when Ostrander banged home the rebound after a Higginson shot had been saved.

The Bulldogs then essentially put the game away when Higginson and Jordan scored in a 3:29-span late in the half. Enriquez's assist on the third goal was the first point of her career.

"I was very happy with our performance," said Rudy Meredith, The Loring Family and Rudolph L. Meredith Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "We were able to capitalize on our opportunities and get a lead."

Yale had only scrimmaged once this fall leading up to the opener, while Howard (1-2) was playing its third game of the season. That had Meredith concerned.

"For playing only one scrimmage, I thought our composure was very good," he said. "We didn't panic as much as I thought we might."

Seventeen different players saw action in the game.

"We got excellent contributions from our bench," Meredith said.

Yale has now won its season opener in three straight seasons.

The trip to the Nation's Capital continues on Sunday when the Bulldogs face No. 15 Georgetown at 1 p.m. The Hoyas are coming off a scoreless tie with No. 11 Duke on Thursday night.

"That's going to be very tough," Meredith said. "They are very good."

The trip is a homecoming for Meredith, who grew up not far from Washington DC in Maryland where he was a high school all-state player. He said he will have the opportunity to visit some of his family on Saturday.

Report filed by Tim Bennett (timothy.bennett@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity