POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – The Yale women’s soccer team was very efficient Monday night at Marist. The Bulldogs managed only eight shots, but four of them found the back of the net. The result was an impressive 4-0 victory over the Red Foxes on a chilly night at Gartland Athletic Field.
Yale (6-5) also was playing shorthanded. Head coach Rudy Meredith allowed a couple of players to stay back in New Haven due to exams.
“We were a little bit of a thin squad tonight,” Meredith said. “Under the circumstances, I’m very proud of the way we played.”
Melissa Gavin scored twice to lead the offense. The Bulldogs also got goals from Juliann Jeffrey and Shannon Conneely.
Goalkeeper Elise Wilcox made 10 saves to earn the shutout.
Marist, which had scored 10 goals in winning its last three games, had a 14-8 edge in shots.
Jeffrey got the Bulldogs off to a strong start when settled a cross from Paula Hagopian and fired a shot into the lower left corner at 11:04.
It looked like it would stay 1-0 at halftime, but Yale struck again in the closing moments. Gavin sent a free kick that went off Shannon McSweeney’s head to Conneely, who headed it in with just seven seconds remaining.
“One of our goals coming in was to win the first half,” Meredith said. “We’ve played well in the second half but have struggled in the first half of games.”
Despite the two first-half goals Monday, Yale has still been outscored 12-5 in the opening 45 minutes this season.
Gavin put to rest any thoughts of a Marist comeback by scoring 12 minutes into the second half. It was Hagopian who again set up the goal. She sent a cross from the left side line that Gavin one-touched into the upper corner.
Gavin capped the scoring with 8:50 left when she scored on a penalty kick.
The shutout was Yale’s third of the season.
“Elise played very well and we cleaned some things up on the defensive end,” Meredith said.
The Bulldogs get back to Ivy League play on Saturday when they host Cornell at 6:30 p.m. at Reese Stadium.