Bulldogs Post Fourth Shutout Of Season
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A tactical change at halftime made all the difference for the Yale women’s soccer team on Monday night against Fairfield.
After being outshot 8-4 in the first 45 minutes, the Bulldogs switched formations at the intermission, and it worked to perfection. Yale outshot the Stags 12-1 the rest of way and finally won it when Anne Song scored the only goal of the game from the top of the box with 6:43 left in the second overtime period on a chilly night at Reese Stadium.
“My assistant coaches suggested we switch to a 4-4-2, and I agreed,” Yale head coach Rudy Meredith said of the adjustment. “It changed the game. They were getting outlets wide and we were able to prevent that better in the second half.”
The Bulldogs (7-7) had a number of chances to win it earlier in overtime as they had all seven shots in the extra periods.
The best opportunity came late in the first extra period. Shannon Conneely fired a shot from the left side of the box that banged off the post. The rebound deflected right to Kristen Forster, who saw her quick shot cleared away by a Fairfield defender just before it got to the end line.
Conneely also played a key role on the winning goal. She sent a ball into the box from the left wing. Frannie Coxe tapped it to Song, who fired a hard shot inside the right post. The winner came just moments after Song had missed the net despite a good look from in front.
“Anne has been playing so well that it is nice she got something to show for it,” Meredith said. “I’m really happy for her.”
The win comes at a good time for the Bulldogs, who suffered a hard-fought 2-0 loss to Penn on Saturday night.
“It’s good for our confidence,” Meredith said. “Fairfield is a solid team that is probably going to win their league and make the NCAA Tournament.”
Elise Wilcox drew the start in goal for Yale and made three saves to post the shutout, the Bulldogs’ fourth of the season.
Wilcox was under heavy pressure early and some good fortune helped keep the Stags off the board. Wilcox got just enough of an Erin Pettersen shot to get it to deflect off the post in the 13th minute. Then later in the half she got her fingertips on a Shannon Fay blast and it banged off the crossbar.
Yale has now won the last six meetings with Fairfield.
A tape delayed broadcast of the game will air on CPTV Sports in Connecticut on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The Bulldogs are back in action on Saturday when they host Columbia at 2 p.m. at Reese Stadium.