Sept. 19, 2007
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Goals were hard to come by for the Bulldogs in their last four games. Head Coach Rudy Meredith hoped a return to the friendly confines of Reese Stadium would be the cure. It took awhile, but a little home cooking was just what Yale needed. Freshman Becky Brown scored and added an assist as the Bulldogs cruised to a 3-0 victory over Sacred Heart on a gorgeous late summer evening. The win snapped a four-game losing streak.
"It's good to get a win. We really needed it," Meredith said. "It's also nice that we were able to get our first shutout."
The competition - Duke, North Carolina, Washington and Portland - had a lot to do with Yale's scoring drought. Nevertheless, it appeared the Bulldogs would continue to be snakebit early in Wednesday's game as a number of good opportunities were squandered.
Brown, though, finally got Yale on the board when she one-timed an Eliza Walper cross past Sacred Heart goalkeeper Meghan Reichelt at 26:12. The goal came nearly 10 minutes after Reichelt had stopped Brown's hard shot from right in front.
The two teams combined for 15 shots in the first half, but only five were on goal. Yale goalkeeper Susan Starr thwarted Sacred Heart's best opportunity when she made a diving save on Lisa Nowakowski's shot from the left wing in the 25th minute.
Yale (2-4) scored twice in a seven-minute stretch of the second half to put the game away. Leslie Perez got the first goal at 61:40, assisted by Brown. Maggie Westfal then notched her second goal of the season when she took a feed from Hannah Smith, dribbled down the right wing and slid a shot past Reichelt that may have deflected off a Sacred Heart defender.
"I'm very pleased with the balanced scoring," Meredith said. "We had some chances to score some more so we have to learn to put teams away, but credit Sacred Heart. They played very hard."
In the second half, the Bulldogs outshot the Pioneers 6-1. Sacred Heart's one shot, though, nearly went in as Alyssa Long's header from 10 yards out deflected off the left post.
"Sacred Heart surprised us a bit with their formation at the start of the game," Meredith said. "We made an adjustment at halftime and went to an extra defender."
Starr played the first half and made two saves for the Bulldogs. Ayana Sumiyasu came on and played the final 45 minutes. Reichelt stopped two shots for the Pioneers (0-6).
Yale returns to action on Sunday, playing at Central Connecticut at 1 p.m.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity