NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Rain, wind and cold helped keep scoring chances to a minimum Saturday at Reese Stadium. Yale and Columbia’s stingy defense played a pretty big role as well. The result was a fairly predictable scoreless tie before the few hearty souls who braved the less than ideal conditions.
It was the third scoreless tie and fourth overall draw in Ivy League play for the Bulldogs (7-4-4, 1-1-4 Ivy).
Columbia, which entered the week 15th in the nation on goals against average, played its sixth tie of the season and second in Ivy play. The Lions are 7-3-6 overall and 2-2-2 in league play.
“The conditions were tough and certainly favored the defense,” said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith. “We needed to be a little more precise on offense, but it was hard to be precise in these conditions.”
Both teams had 11 shots, but Yale had a 12-2 advantage in corner kicks.
The Bulldogs probably had the better scoring chances as well. In fact, with 10 minutes left in the second half, it looked like Yale had a goal off a corner kick, but it was nullified by a foul.
The Bulldogs also had the best opportunity in the overtime periods. It came early in the second extra period when Melissa Gavin slipped a nifty pass through the box to Meredith Speck, who got behind the defense. Columbia goalkeeper Allison Spencer, though, raced forward and got just enough of Speck’s quick shot to deflect it wide.
“I’m proud of the way we played,” Meredith said. “Our defense was stellar. We had our chances to score, but we weren’t able to keep our composure in the final third.”
Spencer made seven saves for the Lions, while Yale goalkeeper Elise Wilcox stopped four shots to post the shutout. Wilcox lowered her season goals against average to 0.46, which would be a new school record.
The game was the final at Reese for seven Yale seniors. Gavin, Speck, Wilcox, Muriel Battaglia, Frannie Coxe, Annie Hull and Georgiana Wagemann were honored in a ceremony prior to the start.
“They are a very special group,” Meredith said. “They’ve had a great attitude and a great work ethic. They’ve been one of my favorite classes.”
The Bulldogs close out the season next Friday night at 7 p.m.