September 15, 2013

Hagopian’s Overtime Goal Caps Big Yale Comeback

Bulldogs Rally To Edge Towson 4-3 In 2OT

TOWSON, Md. – It was looking like a lost weekend for the Yale women's soccer team midway through the second half of Sunday's game at Towson. The Bulldogs, who fell at No. 12 Georgetown on Friday, were trailing the Tigers 3-1.

Then something magical happened. Yale scored twice in the final 28 minutes of regulation, and Paula Hagopian notched the game-winner 1:14 into the second overtime period as the Bulldogs rallied for a thrilling 4-3 victory.

"I can't ever remember us coming back from two goals down in the second half during my whole time at Yale," said head coach Rudy Meredith, who is in his 19th season. "It was a crazy game."

Melissa Gavin scored twice for the Bulldogs, including the tying goal with 4:34 left in the second half. Freshman Geneva Decker also had a goal.

Yale (3-1) led 1-0 at halftime, but Towson erupted for three goals in the first 13 minutes of the second half.

Decker started the comeback when she took a perfect cross from Meredith Speck and fired a shot into an empty net.

Gavin then tied it when she headed in a Frannie Coxe corner kick.

The Bulldogs dominated the overtime periods but couldn't tally the game-winner until early in the second 10-minute session.

Coxe started the winning play when she sent a ball forward to Speck, who raced down the wing and sent a cross to Hagopian. Hagopian one-timed it into the back of the net from eight yards out setting off a big celebration on the Yale bench.

"We made a couple of formation adjustments, but mostly we just kept fighting," Meredith said of the comeback. "I give our kids a lot of credit."

Speck assisted on three of the four goals.

Gavin now has four goals on the season.

The Bulldogs showed great resiliency in bouncing back from Friday's disappointing performance at Georgetown.

"This will be a good lesson for us moving forward," Meredith said. "We'll know if we are down a goal or two, we can come back."

The Bulldogs are back in action on Wednesday when they host Hartford at 7 p.m. at Reese Stadium.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity