NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women’s soccer team certainly looks ready for the start of Ivy League play. Ellery Winkler and Noelle Higginson each had a goal and an assist as the Bulldogs rolled to a 3-0 victory over Central Connecticut on a gorgeous late afternoon at Reese Stadium.
Yale (6-2) will bring a four-game winning streak into next Saturday’s Ivy opener at Princeton.
Central Connecticut, the defending Northeast Conference champions, certainly provided a good test leading into league play.
“We have a ton of respect for that Central Connecticut accomplishes each season, and we spoke a lot the past few days of hoping to be able to match their consistency of winning from season to season,” said Brendan Faherty, The Loring Family Head Coach of the Bulldogs. “Tonight, we were able to get the win, and it’s a great way to end this portion of our non-conference season.”
The Bulldogs were in control for a large majority of the game. First year Chloe Laureano got things started when she scored her second goal of the season just 7:47 in. The play began when Higginson sent a ball into the box that Mia Grillo deflected out to Laureano, who fired it in from in front.
Despite an 8-4 edge in shots, Yale’s lead was still 1-0 at halftime. The Bulldogs, though, added a second goal midway through the second half. Winkler sent a perfect cross to the top of the box to Higginson, who left-footed it past Central goalkeeper Caitlin Murphy at 59:09.
Winkler added an insurance goal at 70:36 to cap the scoring. It was her fifth goal of the year.
“Tonight was a good performance for our group against a really good Central Connecticut side,” Faherty said. “We started the game really well, and it was good to score an early goal.”
The Bulldogs finished with a 13-6 edge in shots. Goalkeeper Alyssa Fagel made one save to post her second shutout of the season.
Yale, which was hosting its Play For Pride Game, improved to 3-0 in the friendly confines of Reese Stadium. The Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 10-1 at home.
Yale and Princeton square off at 4 p.m. next Saturday.
“We will enjoy this results for the next day or so and then our attention will turn to Princeton,” Faherty said. “We are excited for the challenge of playing the reigning conference champion.”