Becky Brown Scores Only Goal At 61:55
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – It didn't take long for the Yale women's soccer team to create a memorable moment at newly renovated Reese Stadium. Becky Brown scored the only goal of the game at 61:55 as the Bulldogs shocked No. 16 Penn State in Yale's 2010 season opener. It was the program's first victory over a Big Ten opponent.
"I'm just happy with our performance, especially since it was our first game and it was against such a tough opponent," said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith. "I was nervous about playing such a quality team this early."
Penn State has won 12 consecutive Big Ten titles.
The Nittany Lions (1-2-1) contained Brown, last year's Ivy League Player of the Year, for most of the first half, but she broke though early in the second. Enma Mullo sent a long pass forward to Brown, who got behind the defense, broke in alone on Penn State goalkeeper Krissy Tribbett and slipped a shot just inside the far post.
"Their defenders were bigger and just as fast as [Becky]," Meredith said. "She was getting doubled team but she did a good job of picking her moments. She made a run at the right time and took advantage of her opportunity."
It was the 26th goal of Brown's career, 13 shy of Elizabeth Traver's school record.
Freshman Jessica Schloth picked up her first career assist on the play as well.
Goalkeeper Ayana Sumiyasu made four saves to post the shutout.
The Bulldogs started two freshmen and a sophomore on defense, but the inexperience wasn't a factor.
"We played smart," Meredith said. "We tried to drop off and eliminate foot races."
Yale nearly grabbed the lead in the fourth minute. Tribbet got caught out of the goal and the ball deflected to Anna McCahon, but her shot from 25 yards out was headed away by a defender.
Penn State's best chance came in the 15th minute. Danielle Toney raced down the near side and got off a shot that just glanced off the far post.
The Nittany Lions finished with a 14-6 edge in shots, but not too many of them were high-quality chances.
"This was a great team effort," Meredith said. "This group really cares about winning. They've worked hard and have been begging me to push them harder."
The Bulldogs will face another challenging Big Ten opponent on Sunday when they host Illinois at noon.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity
Video Highlights by David Dikranian: