October 1, 2008

Late Night At Reese Stadium: Bulldogs Overcome Delay, Blank Bryant 2-0

Oct. 1, 2008

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Rudy Meredith has seen just about everything in his long career as a player and coach. Until Wednesday, though, he had never been a part of a game that was delayed by the weather. With Yale and Bryant scoreless at halftime, a thundershower rolled through Reese Stadium. The players and fans headed into nearby Coxe Cage for what turned out to be a nearly hour-and-a-half wait. During the delay, Meredith sensed his team was losing its focus.

"Some of the girls were sleeping, others were studying," he said.

So Meredith devised a plan to get his team's attention back to the task at hand. He warned them that any give-away when play resumed would result in a full field sprint for the offender at the next practice. Apparently, the players got the message. Yale played a crisp second half, scoring a pair of goals, to walk away with a 2-0 non-league victory.

"It was frustrating because I thought we played a pretty good first half," Meredith said. "We just weren't patient in the attack zone. We'd get the ball in the final third and make a mistake. I thought we did a little better in the second half."

Yale's two goals came less than five minutes apart. Maggie Westfal got the first at 53:54. Kate Macauley set it up by sending a ball into the box from the right wing. Becky Brown deflected it to Westfal, who knocked it home. Brown also played a role in the second goal, sending a cross that Emma Whitfield headed just inside the near post at 58:26.

The second-half onslaught was much needed. The Bulldogs had scored only one goal in their previous three games, including a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Princeton in their Ivy League opener on Saturday.

"It was good to get our offense back in rhythm," Meredith said.

Yale (5-4-1) dominated the second 45 minutes, outshooting Bryant 8-2.

Ayana Sumiyasu, who played the first 67 minutes in goal, and Adelaide Gay both made one save apiece for the Bulldogs, who posted their fifth shutout of the season.

Bryant (1-7-2) also used a pair of goalkeepers as Jessica Clark and Jessica Neales made one save each. Clark, the starter, benefited from some good fortune early in the first half when Miyuki Hino's shot from 15 yards out banged off the right post. That was one of only two shots for Yale in the first 45 minutes.

The Bulldogs return to Ivy League play on Saturday, traveling to Harvard for an 11:30 a.m. kickoff.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

video by David Dikranian

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