November 7, 2005

Home Sweet Home; Bulldogs Host Central Connecticut In NCAA College Cup

Nov. 7, 2005

NEW HAVEN - On Saturday, the Bulldogs won the first outright Ivy League title in school history. Apparently, the NCAA Women's Soccer Committee was impressed. Yale has been selected to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Women's College Cup, and the schools coming to New Haven are all familiar faces. The Bulldogs play Central Connecticut on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium. Yale beat the Blue Devils 2-0 on Sept. 11. Duke and Fairfield meet in the first game at 4 p.m. The Bulldogs lost to Duke 1-0 in the season opener on Sept. 2 and beat Fairfield 1-0 on Sept. 27.

Friday's winners meet on Sunday at 1 p.m.

"It's great for the University and a dream come true for us to be able to play an NCAA game in our home stadium," said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith.

The Bulldogs will be making their third NCAA Tournament appearance but will be hosting for the first time. Yale was 7-0 at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium this season. In 2002, Yale won at Villanova on penalty kicks before falling to Nebraska in the second round. Last year the Bulldogs lost a first-round game to Villanova 2-1 in a driving rainstorm at Princeton.

The Bulldogs are 13-3-1 overall and were 5-1-1 in Ivy play. The 13 wins equals the school record, set three times before (1996, 1998 and 2004). Yale has allowed only 10 goals in 17 games. Freshman Crysti Howser leads the team in scoring with 21 points (8 goals, 5 assists). Laurel Karnes has 15 points (5 goals, 5 assists). Chloe Beizer (0.53 goals against average) and Susan Starr (0.64 GAA) have split the goalkeeping duties.

Central Connecticut (17-3 overall) earned its fourth straight Northeast Conference Tournament championship with a 1-0 win over Long Island on Sunday. Jessica McCavanagh leads the Blue Devils in scoring with 10 goals and two assists.

"They are a very hard-working team and are extremely well coached," Meredith said. "I went to [Sunday's] game for fun, but in the back of my mind I thought there was a chance we might play them."

Howser scored both goals in Yale's 2-0 win at Central Connecticut earlier this season. The Bulldogs outshot the Blue Devils 18-8 and had a 9-4 advantage in corner kicks.

Duke, a No. 3 seed in the College Cup, was ranked 12th in the Nov. 1 NSCAA national poll. Duke (13-5-1) lost to North Carolina in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament. Darby Kroyer, who scored the only goal in the 1-0 win over Yale, leads the team with 12 points (5 goals, 2 assists).

Fairfield (10-6-3) won the MAAC Tournament to earn a berth in the College Cup. Alex Caram leads the team in scoring with five goals and six assists.

Karnes scored the game-winning goal in the Bulldogs' victory over the Stags.

Yale is one of two Ivy League schools to make the 64-team field. Dartmouth received an at-large bid and plays Boston College on Friday at UConn. The Atlantic Coast leads all conferences with seven teams in the tournament. Five teams will represent the Big 12, the Big Ten and the Pac-10; four teams will represent the West Coast Conference, the Big East Conference, and the Southeastern Conference.

The 24th annual NCAA Division I Women's College Cup will be played December 2 and 4 at Aggie Soccer Stadium in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M is hosting the championship for the first time.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity