LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell pulled out all the pomp and circumstance for its first women’s soccer home game as a Division I institution. There were a number of local youth players in attendance and the pre-game introductions were done Champions League style.
“It was a very nice soccer spectacle,” said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith.
Meredith and his team, though, put a bit of a damper on the festivities, knocking off the River Hawks 3-1. Freshman Geny Decker scored twice and Melissa Gavin added a goal and two assists to lead the Bulldogs.
The score was tied 1-1 at halftime, but Yale tallied twice in the second half to come away with the win.
“We were a little sluggish at the start but got it back together in the second half,” Meredith said.
Gavin scored what turned out to be the game-winner midway through the second half when she took a feed from Frannie Coxe and chipped it in.
Decker’s second goal of the day then sealed the victory with less than five minutes remaining. She settled a pass from Gavin and blasted a shot into the back of the net from nearly 25 yards out.
Decker, the Coastal League Player of the Year last fall at The Bishop’s School in California, had given the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead with her first career goal at the 17:04 mark of the first half. That one was also set up by Gavin.
“Geny gave us a big spark,” Meredith said. “It’s not easy to be productive off the bench, but we need that, especially playing our second game of the weekend.”
UMass Lowell’s formation, a 4-4-2, caused the Bulldogs some problems early in the game.
“It took away our wide area,” Meredith said. “We had to play through the middle and it took us some time to adjust.”
Elise Wilcox made three saves to earn the victory in goal for Yale, which outshot the River Hawks 12-5.
The Bulldogs, who opened the season with a 1-0 victory over Stony Brook on Friday, have won their first two games of the season for the first time since 2009.
Yale will look to get to 3-0 next Friday at Georgetown.