NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The formula for success for the Yale women’s soccer team in 2015 is becoming clear. Play steady defense, and the result will likely be positive.
That’s what did the Bulldogs did Saturday against Dartmouth, and they came away with a 1-0 victory on a gorgeous fall evening at Reese Stadium.
Goalkeeper Rachel Ames made four saves to post the shutout, and Yale held Lucielle Kozlov, who entered the night leading the Ivy League with nine goals, in check. Kozlov registered only two shots, one of which was on goal.
Freshman Keri Cavallo scored the only goal of the game early in the second half.
Dartmouth (7-3-2, 0-2-1 Ivy) received votes in this week’s top-25 national poll.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Bulldogs (4-5-2, 1-2 Ivy) that had seen them yield seven goals.
“I give our kids a lot of credit,” said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith. “Nobody slacked off this week in practice. They gave 100 percent effort, kept working hard and deserved this win.”
The victory was the 200th at Yale for Meredith, who is the winningest women’s soccer coach in school history.
“It just means I’ve been here a long time and am getting old,” he said shortly after being presented with a ball to commemorate the occasion.
The focus of practice this week for the Bulldogs was taking care of the ball.
“We had been giving it away too much,” Meredith said. “We wanted to connect on more of our passes, and we did that.”
It was a pretty passing play that led to the winning goal. After a scramble in front, Sofia Griff tapped a ball to Cavallo, who fired it home from 10 yards in front at 47:28.
Dartmouth had a big edge in possession the rest of the way but had very few high quality scoring chances.
The Big Green’s best opportunity came late in the first half after Ames made a terrific save to rob Kozlov. The rebound came to Lauren Lucas, but her shot toward an empty net went just over the crossbar.
All four of Yale’s victories this year have come by shutouts. In their five losses, the Bulldogs have been outscored 21-6, which is likely due to the team’s youth and inexperience. There were seven freshmen or sophomores in Saturday’s starting lineup.
“We’ve been a lights-on, lights-off team,” Meredith admitted. “We certainly would like to stay a little more lights on.”
The Bulldogs are back at Reese next Saturday when they host Cornell at 4 p.m.