NEW HAVEN, Conn. – With goals hard to come by in Ivy League play, it had to be a little disheartening for the Bulldogs when they gave up the first goal to Penn on Saturday. Yale, though, persevered and earned a 1-1 tie with the Quakers thanks to a goal from Melissa Gavin midway through the second half.
“We got off to a slow start, but for the last 65 minutes we were good,” said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith. “It’s unfortunate that we were not able to get a second goal. I’m proud of our performance.”
It was the third tie of the league season for the Bulldogs, who also have split a pair of 1-0 decisions, beating Cornell and falling to Princeton.
The three ties are the most ever for Yale in Ivy play.
The game was a defensive struggle early before Penn finally broke through late in the first half. Erin Mikolai sent a ball forward to Julianna Provini, who fired a shot into the top corner.
The Bulldogs had the edge in possession in the second half and finally broke through at 73:12. Meg Byfield sent a ball into the box that deflected off a Penn defender to Gavin, who played the bounce perfectly, turned and blasted a shot into the top corner from 12 yards out.
It was Gavin’s third goal of the season and her second in the last two weeks. She also scored the only goal in last Saturday’s win at Cornell.
“It was a really nice goal,” Meredith said of the equalizer. “Melissa has done a good job of converting her chances recently.”
Both teams had opportunities to take the lead. In the final minute of regulation, Yale’s Maggie Furlong made a terrific defensive play to clear a Mikolai shot off the goal line. Then with three minutes left in the second overtime, Mikolai fired a shot from 20 yards out that banged off the crossbar.
Yale’s best chance in the overtime periods came in the final seconds when Meredith Speck found herself alone on the wing, but Penn goalkeeper Kalijah Terilli got just enough of her shot to deflect it over the top of the goal just before the horn sounded.
Terilli finished with five saves, while Yale’s Elise Wilcox stopped three shots.
The Bulldogs (6-4-3, 1-1-3 Ivy) outshot Penn 13-11, including 5-3 in overtime, and had a 6-3 edge in corner kicks.
Yale is next in action on Tuesday, hosting UMass Lowell at 7 p.m. at Reese Stadium.