September 20, 2006

Early Goal Sets Tone In Shutout Of Central Connecticut

Sept. 20, 2006

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale's biggest struggle in the early season has been scoring goals. Entering Wednesday night's game with Central Connecticut, the Bulldogs had only five goals in six games. Natasha Mann made sure it wasn't a problem against the Blue Devils. She scored only 28 seconds into the game and Yale cruised to a 3-0 victory on a picture-perfect night at Reese Stadium.

"Natasha's goal was huge," said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith. "Scoring on our first chance really took away the anxiety. It set the tone because it allowed us to relax a little bit."

Mann settled a Mimi Macauley pass and fired a shot in from 15 yards out. The Bulldogs (3-3-1) scored again less than six minutes later when Whitfield took a long pass from Sophia Merrifield, got behind the defense and slipped a shot past Central goalkeeper Erin Herd.

"Emma came by my office this afternoon and we watched video and talked about breakaways," Meredith said. "She is always willing to learn and work hard which is all a coach can ask for."

Whitfield set up Yale's third goal midway through the second half when she sent a cross to Maggie Westfal, who one-timed it in mid-air from 10 yards out.

Yale (3-3-1) outshot Central Connecticut 10-7. Susan Starr and Marcela Benitez combined to make four saves to post the shutout, the Bulldogs' third of the season. Herd stopped three shots for the Blue Devils (3-6).

The Bulldogs and Central Connecticut have now played three times in the last two years and Yale has won all three. The Bulldogs beat the Blue Devils in the first round of the NCAA College Cup last year.

Twenty-two players saw action in the game for the Bulldogs, who open Ivy League play on Saturday when they host Princeton at 7 p.m. at Reese Stadium.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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