NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale had its way with Saint Peter’s on Tuesday night.
Freshman Sarah McCauley scored twice and Melissa Gavin added three assists as the Bulldogs cruised to a 5-1 victory at Reese Stadium. Geneva Decker and Ana Keusch also scored, and Yale was the beneficiary of an own goal midway through the second half.
St. Peter’s Carlee Gonzalez spoiled Yale’s shutout bid when she scored with less than two minutes remaining.
Nevertheless, it was a strong performance from the Bulldogs, who were coming off a sub-par effort against Manhattan on Sunday.
Yale head coach Rudy Meredith was particularly pleased with his team’s offensive play in the box.
“We were able to keep our focus on offense,” he said. “Sometimes we had been panicking in the box. Tonight we kept our composure.”
The Bulldogs (4-1) wasted little time getting on the board. McCauley tallied her first goal at 4:04 when she took a pretty feed from Gavin and left-footed a shot into the back of the net from 17 yards out.
McCauley struck again 10 minutes later. Shannon Conneely sent a pass forward to Gavin, who quickly crossed it into the box where McCauley fired a shot from 15 yards out that deflected off the post and in.
“Those first goals really set the tone,” Meredith said. “We got the momentum and were able to keep it going.”
Decker capped the first-half scoring when she one-timed a Frannie Coxe cross in from right in front of the goal.
Yale kept the pressure on early in the second half and it resulted in Keusch’s first career goal at 49:39. It was set up by Karina Kovalcik, who made a long pass to Keusch on the right wing.
The Bulldogs’ final goal came when a Saint Peter’s defender inadvertently deflected a cross into her own goal at 63:44.
Meredith used 27 different players in the game, and at one point in the first half subbed for all 10 field players at the same time, a first in his coaching career.
“I finally have enough players to do that,” he said.
Meredith also is still getting a look at combinations with the start of Ivy League play less than two weeks away.
“We’re still evaluating and this was a good opportunity for that,” he said.
With Yale playing its third game in five days, Meredith also wanted to keep a close eye on minutes played.
The Bulldogs are back in action on Friday when they play at Hofstra, who already has an impressive victory over Duke on its resume. Kickoff on Long Island is slated for 7 p.m.