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Early Yale Goal Guides Bulldogs Past Big Red
On a damp and windy Saturday afternoon during the annual Homecoming Weekend celebrated in Ithaca, it was the Yale Bulldogs who defeated the Big Red of Cornell 1-0 on an early goal by forward Melissa Gavin. For the Big Red (6-7-0, 1-3-0), it continues a stretch of losses that has dampened what was seemingly going to be a bright season. The Bulldogs improved to 6-4-2 and 1-1-2 in Ivy play and recorded their second straight clean sheet.
Gavin got the scoring started early, as the freshman found herself all alone in front of the net, and tapped in an in-swinging cross from fellow forward Frannie Coxe. The 5th minute goal shocked the Berman Field faithful in attendance and set the tone for the rest of the game. Although the Big Red outshot the Bulldogs 18-8 and had 8 shots on net compared to only 3 for the Bulldogs, the visitors were the only ones to find the back of the net, which ultimately won them the game.
It was a spirited effort from the Big Red side, as their technical abilities and offensive prowess shined through in the second half. They had numerous opportunities to test Yale goalkeeper Elise Wilcox, but none found their way through the big 5’10’’ net-minder. Wilcox’s most crucial save of the game came on a great left-footed try from freshman right back Whitney Farber, who displayed great ability and poise in trying to curl an attempt past the keeper from just outside the box. But Wilcox saved that one, and any other attempts on net were either off target or punched away by the fantastic Wilcox.
Despite the problems finishing, there were positives to take away from the game for the Big Red. It was a spirited defensive effort, with sophomore Kailey Joyce in particular sticking out as a solid contributor on the day. Said Joyce after the game, “I think the biggest thing is that we played hard. It’s not that we played bad. Our defense played well. We were pretty solid.” Sophomore goalkeeper Kelsey Tierney also had a fine game, making 2 saves in net for the Big Red and being a leader in the back throughout.
In attack for the Big Red, Elizabeth Crowell and Caroline Growney each led the team with 2 shots on goal. Growney was very dangerous for the Big Red attack throughout, creating many chances for her or other teammates. Claire MacManus and Shanay Fischer were their usual tidy selves in midfield, keeping possession and distributing nicely to teammates.
For the Big Red, this is a step back, but also a chance to further grow as a squad. As Joyce said after the game, “We need to work hard, win tomorrow, and then take each week of practice and keep building.” Coach Farmer, who received a yellow card during the closing minutes of the contest, was also optimistic about the rest of the season for the Big Red. “Coaches say it all the time, we’re better than our record,” said the Cornell head coach. The Big Red contests against the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Sunday, before heading to Providence to take on the Brown Bears next weekend.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Cornell