NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The season is only a week old, and the Yale women’s soccer team already has two signature wins on its resume. After knocking off perennial NCAA Tournament participant UConn 1-0 in their season opener last Friday, the Bulldogs turned in perhaps an even more impressive performance, defeating Miami of the ACC 2-0 before a big crowd at Reese Stadium.
Yale improved to 4-0 overall, its best start since the 2004 team won its first five games.
“It was an unbelievable effort,” said head coach Rudy Meredith.
The Bulldogs were very solid in the win over the Huskies but seemed to reach an even higher level against a Hurricane team that returned most of the key players that helped them reach the ACC Tournament a year ago.
“We learned from the UConn game,” Meredith said. “It showed that we can play with that caliber of opponent. It was a confidence builder.”
It helped when the Bulldogs were awarded a penalty kick just 7:25 into the game. Miami was whistled for a hand ball in the box, and Noelle Higginson calmly converted it.
And nothing pleases Meredith more than when his team scores the first goal.
“It settles the game down,” he said. “We don’t have to chase the game.”
Yale played very well with the lead, limiting Miami to very few quality scoring chances. And when the Hurricanes got one, goalkeeper Jane Buckley was up to the challenge. She finished with four saves, most of which were difficult.
“Jane was great,” Meredith said. “That’s what you need – your goalie to make big saves – to beat a team like Miami.”
Michelle Alozie gave the Bulldogs some breathing room when she scored her third goal of the season at 54:14. It was set up by a nifty forward ball from Sarah McCauley.
Miami (3-2) ratcheted up the pressure late in the game, but Yale’s defense, anchored by Carlin Hudson, Brittany Simpson, Hannah Coy and Mackenzie Marsh, stood strong
The Hurricanes finished with just nine shots.
Yale now has three shutouts in its four games and has yielded only two goals overall.
The Bulldogs are back in action on Labor Day when they play at Hofstra. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.