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Bulldogs Drop Heartbreaker In Ivy Opener

Melissa Gavin  (photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)
Melissa Gavin (photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)

Princeton Wins On Own Goal In Overtime

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's soccer team flirted with danger for much of Saturday's game with Princeton. It was just old fashioned bad luck, however, that ended up costing the Bulldogs in a 2-1 overtime loss.

The Tigers scored the winning goal late in the first extra period when a Yale defender inadvertently headed Liana Cornacchio's long throw in into her own goal.

"It's unfortunate," said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith, "but Princeton was a little bit better than us today."

The Tigers (4-3-1, 1-0 Ivy) had a 16-6 edge in shots and a 5-2 advantage in corner kicks.

Still, Yale could have escaped with a win. The Bulldogs scored first at 11:18 when Muriel Battaglia headed in a Melissa Gavin corner kick.

Princeton, though, tied it nearly 13 minutes later when Gabriella Guzman fired a hard shot into the top corner from 25 yards out.

Yale (5-4, 0-1 Ivy) was fortunate the game was tied at halftime, as Princeton outshot the Bulldogs 9-1 in the first 45 minutes.

Yale was better in the second half and nearly scored with less than five minutes remaining. Frannie Coxe made a couple of nifty moves to free herself and got off a hard shot that got by Princeton goalkeeper Claire Pinciaro. Defender Kacie Kergides, though, cleared it away just before it got to the goal line.

"We applied more pressure in the second half and it led to some opportunities," Meredith said. "I applaud our effort."

The Bulldogs also did an outstanding defending Princeton's Jen Hoy, who entered the game leading the league with nine goals. Hoy managed four shots but none were too dangerous. Still, the Tigers had the edge in play for most of the game.

"I thought we gave them too much time and space in the midfield," Meredith said.

Freshman Rachel Ames was in goal for all 97 minutes for the Bulldogs and played with confidence in her first Ivy game. She finished with four saves.

This was the sixth straight year that the visiting team won in the series.

The loss snapped Yale's three-game winning streak.

The Bulldogs are off until next Saturday when they play at Harvard.

"I told the team after the game that all we can do now is focus on Harvard and nothing else," Meredith said.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity