NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After scoring early in Friday’s game with Iona, the Yale women’s soccer team had a number of opportunities to add to the lead. The Bulldogs, though, couldn’t capitalize, and it looked like it might cost them when Iona’s Sofia Sanchez scored with 3:28 left to force overtime.
Kristen Forster had other ideas. Her goal just 1:48 into the extra period lifted Yale to a 2-1 victory over the Gaels in a game the Bulldogs controlled virtually the entire way.
“Not getting the second goal was definitely an issue, but to our credit, we came back and found a way to win,” said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith.
Forster scored the game-winner when she outfought Iona goalkeeper Trista Rivera for the rebound of a Meredith Speck shot and knocked it into an empty net. It was Forster’s team-leading fourth goal of the season.
“Kristen has taken on more offensive responsibility this year,” Meredith said. “I’m certainly happy with the way she has been playing.”
Yale (4-3) outshot Iona 15-5 and had an 8-1 edge in corner kicks.
The Bulldogs grabbed the early lead when Trish Berkanish headed in the rebound of a Melissa Gavin free kick.
The offensive chances continued for much of the first half as Yale held a 6-1 advantage in shots at the intermission. Iona’s only shot was a harmless boot from nearly 30 yards as time was winding down.
The Bulldogs’ domination continued early in the second half. Gavin had a great chance early when she stole the ball from an Iona defender, but her hard shot from just outside the box went wide.
Then slowly, the Gaels started to become more aggressive. Nicole Paulucci appeared to tie the game when she got behind the Yale defense and chipped a shot into the net, but the play was ruled off sides.
Moments later, Yale had another great chance, but Gavin’s shot hit the crossbar. Muriel Battaglia had a chance to convert the rebound, but her shot was blocked.
Iona’s most intense pressure of the night resulted in the tying goal. Samantha Fiorenzo fired a shot that was saved by Yale goalkeeper Elise Wilcox. The rebound, though, came to Sanchez, who slipped it past Wilcox.
“I was happy with our defense,” Meredith said. “I’m disappointed we didn’t get the shutout.”
The Bulldogs are back in action on Sunday when they host Central Connecticut on Sunday at 4 p.m.