WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Perhaps not surprisingly, it took the Yale women’s soccer team a little while to get going Friday in its season opener. After all, the Bulldogs were playing a Hartford team that already had two games under its belt. Once Yale found its rhythm, though, the results for impressive.
The Bulldogs scored twice in the final 10 minutes to erase a 1-0 deficit and escape with a thrilling 2-1 win over the Hawks on a gorgeous night at Al Marzook Field.
Senior Kristen Forster scored the game-winner with just 26 seconds left in the second half.
Freshman Ally Grossman scored her first career goal with 9:42 left to tie the score.
“I can’t ever remember winning our first game of the season in the last 30 seconds,” said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith. “We had first-game jitters early probably because we still haven’t played together a whole lot yet, but we were much better in the second half and were much more composed.”
Freshman Paula Hagopian set up the winning goal when she sent a cross into the box that came to Forster, who knocked it in from three yards out.
“Paula came off the bench and really gave us a spark,” Meredith said. “She made a great pass into the box, and Kristen stayed really composed and was able to finish it.”
Hartford (1-1-1) had grabbed the early lead when Amelia Pereira scored at 7:56.
It took awhile, but the Bulldogs finally got the equalizer with 9:42 remaining when Grossman put home a rebound.
Yale finished with a 7-5 edge in shots and a 10-1 advantage in penalty kicks.
Adele Jackson-Gibson made two saves to post the victory in goal.
Meredith was very pleased with his team’s play late in the game.
“We’ve been working really hard to finish games strong,” he said. “I thought we were the fitter team at the end.”
The Bulldogs are back in action on Sunday when they travel to Stony Brook. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m.