NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women’s soccer team dug itself an early hole Friday against Sacred Heart and couldn’t quite recover. The result was a 2-1 loss to the Pioneers on a gorgeous night at Reese Stadium.
Sacred Heart (3-5) scored twice in the first half and then withstood a late flurry from the Bulldogs that included a goal from Melissa Gavin.
“Credit to Sacred Heart,” said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith. “They came out fighting and scrapping, but we weren’t sharp. We can’t take anybody lightly. We’ve got to bring our A game every night.”
Gavin’s goal with 10:44 left gave Yale some hope, but the Pioneers did an excellent job down the stretch of milking the clock at every opportunity.
Sacred Heart dominated the first half and had the first 10 shots of the game. By then, the Pioneers already had a 1-0 lead. Dana Cosmedy put home the rebound of a Kristin Verrette shot at 18:37. Yale goalkeeper Elise Wilcox made a terrific diving save on Verrette’s shot, but Cosmedy was alone for the rebound and had an empty net.
Yale (4-2) nearly tied it midway through the half, but a Frannie Coxe shot from 15 yards out deflected off the crossbar, and the rebound was cleared away.
Despite struggling, it looked like Yale might make it to halftime down only one, but a costly turnover led to a Pioneers’ goal with 56 seconds left in the half. Verrette intercepted a clearing attempt near midfield, raced upfield alone and tucked a shot inside the far post.
Sacred Heart finished the opening 45 minutes with a 12-4 advantage in shots.
The Bulldogs picked up their play in the second half and finally got on the board when Gavin ripped a shot from 25 yards out that grazed the crossbar but still went in.
Yale, though, never came close to getting the equalizer.
“We couldn’t connect on our passes at all,” Meredith lamented afterwards.
The Bulldogs have one more game left before opening Ivy League play next Saturday at Princeton. Yale travels to Fairfield for a 2 p.m. kickoff.
“We’ll try to figure things out for Sunday,” Meredith said.