Oct. 27, 2007
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Two games in less than 24 hours didn't prove to be a problem for the Yale women's soccer team. Maggie Westfal's goal in the 70th minute snapped a 1-1 tie and lifted the Bulldogs to a 2-1 victory over New Hampshire on a wet afternoon at Reese Stadium in the final non-league game of the season.
Despite not getting back to New Haven until after midnight following Friday's 2-1 win over Columbia in New York, Yale controlled play, outshooting the Wildcats 22-8 and having a big edge in possession.
"I'm very proud of our team," said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith. "It's not easy to play two games in two days, especially with the injuries we've had. It was a tough weekend, but we responded well."
Yale (9-6) dominated the first half, but didn't get on the scoreboard until the 40:09 mark. Ali Giusto sent a ball toward the goal, but UNH goalkeeper Nikki Golding failed to control it. Becky Brown was right there to knock it into the empty net to give the Bulldogs the lead.
The Wildcats, who clinched at least a share of the America East regular season title on Thursday against Boston University, picked up their play considerably early in the second half. They were rewarded for their improved play when Michelle Sheehan settled a Shuanna Kaplan pass, made a nifty move to elude a Yale defender and fired a hard shot into the top corner to tie it a 1-1 at 54:08.
The Bulldogs, though, regained control following Sheehan's goal. Westfal's team-leading eighth goal of the season snapped the tie at 69:10. Mary Kuder sent a long ball forward to Westfal, who turned and fired a shot past Golding from just inside the box.
Yale had a couple of opportunities to add an insurance goal. In the 76th minute, Caitlin Collins got behind the defense, but Golding dove to her left to get just enough of the shot to knock it wide. On the ensuing corner kick, Natalia Mann sent a cross to Westfal, who fired a shot that Golding caught.
New Hampshire's last chance to tie came in the 85th minute, but Susan Starr stopped an Amy Avitabile shot. Starr played all 90 minutes in goal for the Bulldogs and finished with four saves.
Yale has now won eight of its last 10 games.
"We've been trying to get in a good rhythm," Meredith said. "One day we've been good on offense and another day we've been good defensively. We're trying to get a good balance like we did against Cornell [a 5-0 win]".
The Bulldogs return to action next Saturday when they host Brown at 7 p.m. on Senior Night at Reese Stadium.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity