NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The current players may not be aware of it, but the history between the Yale and Colgate women’s soccer teams made Friday night’s result not that surprising. The two teams played 110 very even minutes in an entertaining 1-1 tie on a hot and very humid night at Reese Stadium.
The two coaches – Yale’s Rudy Meredith and Colgate’s Kathy Brawn – have each been at their respective jobs for more than 20 years so they are well versed in what was once a heated rivalry. In fact, the two spent quite a bit of time before the game reminiscing on the field.
“She asked me why we haven’t played more, and I told her these games might give me a heart attack,” Meredith said.
The teams last played in 2004, but the layoff didn’t do anything to change the competitiveness. Six of the previous seven meetings between the two coaches were decided by one goal or ended in a tie.
And it didn’t take long to see Friday’s game would be an even affair as well. Neither team had too big an edge over the first 10 minutes until Colgate struck first on a bit of a lucky break.
A forward ball was misplayed by Yale, allowing Sarah Coy to gather a loose ball and calmly knock it into a wide open net at 13:27.
Coy, a senior, was one of the reasons the rivalry was renewed. She is the older sister of Yale’s Hannah Coy, who was unable to play as she recovers from an injury.
For a while, it looked like Sarah’s goal might be enough for the Red Raiders to escape with a victory.
The Bulldogs, though, finally got the equalizer midway through the second half when Michelle Alozie headed in a perfect Kristi Wharton cross. Colleen McCormack set up the play when she sent a ball wide to Wharton, who took a few dribbles down the sideline before her cross.
Both teams had very good chances in the second 10-minute overtime period. Yale goalkeeper Alyssa Fagel made a terrific save to rob Abby Sotomayor, and just a few minutes later, Yale’s Sofia Griff found herself alone at the top of the box and rifled a shot that banged off the crossbar.
Yale, which played its second straight draw, finished with a 19-15 edge in shots, and the quality scoring chances were similarly even.
Like Sunday’s draw with Iona, the Bulldogs (3-1-2) were again the team that had to come from behind.
“It shows the character of our team,” Meredith said. “But I told the team. You’ve proven to me we can do it, so how about we start off the next game with a lead.”
That opportunity will come on Sunday when the Bulldogs play their first road game of the season at Vermont. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.