Sept. 9, 2008
FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Overtime has not been kind to the Yale women's soccer team so far in 2008. Ahna Johnson scored her second goal of the game five minutes into the first extra period as Fairfield edged the Bulldogs 3-2 on a warm and muggy night at Lessing Field. Both Yale losses this season have come in overtime. The first was to UConn in the season opener last Friday.
"Better that it happens now, before we start Ivy League play," said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith. "Hopefully we will learn from this."
Hannah Smith scored her second career goal for the Bulldogs late in the first half, and it appeared that goal might be the game-winner. The action, though, picked up considerably in the last six minutes of regulation. Fairfield's Spenser Allaway tied it with 5:48 left on a header into the right corner.
Yale regained the lead at 87:16 with a bit of good fortune. Sophia Merrifield sent a free kick into the box and the ball was inadvertently deflected into the net off a Fairfield defender's head.
The lead didn't last long, however. Just 24 seconds later Johnson headed in a Jasmin Corniel cross for her first goal of the game.
The Stags (4-1) had the only three shots of overtime, and they capitalized on the last one. Adrienne Boyer sent a corner kick into the box, where Johnson was able to tap it in.
"Give Fairfield a lot of credit. They worked really hard and deserved to win," Meredith said.
The Bulldogs (1-2) may have been feeling the effects of playing their third game in five days. After outshooting Fairfield 7-2 in the first half, Yale managed only two shots the rest of the way.
Smith's goal at 37:12 was set up by Becky Brown, who lofted a cross into the right corner of the box, and Smith was able to head it past Fairfield goalkeeper Kelly Boudreau.
"I thought Hannah really gave us some energy coming off the bench," Meredith said. "That was a really nice goal."
The Bulldogs had a couple of good chances earlier in the half. Brown took a nice feed from Maggie Westfal, broke through the middle and chipped a shot just wide less than five minutes into the game.
Emma Whitfield had two quality opportunities later in the half. Boudreau stopped the first one, a point-blank shot from right in front, and Whitfield narrowly missed wide left from 15 yards out on the second one.
Ayana Sumiyasu finished with three saves in goal for Yale. Her best stop came when she dove to her left to smother an Allaway shot midway through the first half.
The Bulldogs are back in action on Friday when they host Western Carolina in the second game of the Yale Classic at 7:30 p.m. Delaware plays Sacred Heart at 5 p.m.
There was a familiar face on the Fairfield sideline. Susan Starr `08 is a graduate assistant coach for the Stags. Starr, a goalkeeper during her time at Yale, is second in school history in career goals against average (0.97).
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity