Sept. 16, 2007
PORTLAND, Ore. - For the second consecutive Sunday, Yale gave one of the top teams in the country all it could handle. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, both performances resulted in losses. Natalie Budge scored the only goal of the game in the 81st minute as fourth-ranked Portland escaped with a 1-0 victory over Yale before a crowd of 2,787 at Merlo Field in the final game of the Nike Portland Invitational.
"Today was the best we've played all season," said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith. "It's unfortunate we didn't get the result we wanted. Our effort was unbelievable. I'm very happy with the performance."
Last Sunday, the Bulldogs fell to defending NCAA College Cup champion North Carolina.
The game-winner came on the Portland's eighth corner kick of the afternoon. Angie Woznuk played the ball short to Jessica Tsao, who dribbled inside the penalty box on the right side. Tsao found Budge unmarked in front of the goal, and her eight yard, right-footed shot went between the legs of a defender and caromed off the left post and into the net.
The Bulldogs (1-4) had two quality chances in the game on breakaways where Portland goalkeeper Kelsey Davis was left one-on-one with an attacking player. The first came in the 44th minute as Hannah Smith broke free and tried to beat Davis to the left post, but the goalkeeper snuffed the angle and made the save.
In the 63rd minute, Maggie Westfal intercepted a pass among the Portland backline and charged toward the left post. Davis again came off her line and forced Westfal to rush her attempt, which sailed wide left.
Portland (5-1) outshot the Bulldogs 17-7. Davis finished with four saves. Susan Starr started in goal for Yale and made three saves. Ayana Sumiyasu played the second half and also stopped three shots.
The Pilots, who defeated Kansas on Friday by a 2-1 margin, claimed the Nike Invitational title by way of goal differential over the Washington Huskies. UW defeated Yale 2-1 on Friday and held off Kansas 1-0 in the early game on Sunday.
After playing four straight games away from home, the Bulldogs now have six of their next seven matches in the friendly confines of Reese Stadium, starting Wednesday night against Sacred Heart.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity