Sept. 14, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs earned their first victory of the season, 1-0 over Montana, last Sunday and hope to build on that momentum with a pair of games against New England rivals this weekend. Yale (1-2-1) hosts UMass on Friday at 7 p.m. at Reese Stadium and visits Hartford for a 2 p.m. kickoff on Sunday.
The Bulldogs' first four opponents currently have a combined record of 18-6-1, and UMass comes to New Haven sporting a 4-1 overall mark, including a victory over then 21st-ranked Boston University.
"We always want to play good teams," said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith. "It gives us a chance to see where we are and figure out what we need to work on to get better for the start of Ivy League play."
The Minutewomen have won four straight games since a season-opening 2-0 loss to New Hampshire. Vanessa Patry leads the team in goals (3) and points (8). Five players share the team lead in assists (2). Goalkeeper Kristin Walker has started all five games and has a 0.80 goals against average.
"UMass has some quality wins," Meredith said. "They are well coached and are very good at making adjustments during a game. I expect a tough battle."
The Bulldogs played well in their two games at the Blue Hen Classic last weekend. Yale outshot Delaware 17-6 but had to settle for a 1-1 tie before beating Montana.
"We started clicking a little better," Meredith said. "Our new players are starting to mesh with the returners. They meshed off the field right away but are starting to mesh on the field as well."
Hartford (1-5) has lost three one-goal games, including a 1-0 decision to UMass. Meagan Riemer and Kacey Busque have combined to score of four of the Hawks' five goals on the season. Liz Cook has played every game in goal and has a 1.50 goals against average.
The Bulldogs are back home next Wednesday to host Central Connecticut at 7 p.m. before playing their Ivy opener against Princeton on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. at Reese Stadium.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity