Ashforth’s First Career Goal Beats Central Connecticut

Adele Jackson-Gibson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Adele Jackson-Gibson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Edge Blue Devils 3-2

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - It was a night of firsts for the Yale women's soccer team. Megan Ashforth scored her first goal at Yale, and goalkeeper Adele Jackson-Gibson earned her first career victory as the Bulldogs topped Central Connecticut 3-2 on a chilly night at Reese Stadium. Old reliable Becky Brown also had a role. She scored Yale's first two goals and now leads the team with nine.

The score was tied at 2-2 when Ashforth headed in a beautiful free kick from Sophia Merrifield at 65:15.

"We've been working on that a lot in practice, especially trying to get better services," said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith.

Jackson-Gibson, a freshman playing her first game in goal, made sure the Bulldogs held the lead. She entered at the start of the second half and was outstanding, finishing with six saves, including two spectacular stops. She dove to her right to rob Brittany Jackson just after Yale had gone ahead and then a few minutes later, jumped high to snare a Leah Blayney blast.

"Adele made some unbelievable saves," Meredith said. "She has been playing well in practice so we wanted to get her in a game and get her some experience."

The game was a wide-open affair as the teams combined for 29 shots.

"It was like a U.S. Open tennis match," Meredith said. "My head was going back and forth following the ball."

The Blue Devils (4-6-1) struck first just 4:33 into the game. Blayney sent a ball forward. Yale goalkeeper Ayana Sumiyasu couldn't control it, and Beth Lloyd was there to knock it in.

Brown scored her first goal less than 10 minutes later. Leslie Perez sent a corner kick into the box, and the ball deflected to Miyuki Hino. Her shot was blocked, but it went right to Brown, who tapped it in.

Brown used her speed to get her second goal. She outraced Central Connecticut goalkeeper Caity Casey to an Enma Mullo pass and calmly deposited the ball into an empty net.

Central, though, tied the score early in the second half on a goal by Brittany Jackson.

The Bulldogs (6-3) have now won three straight.

Yale hosts Dartmouth in an important Ivy League game on Friday night at 7 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity