Bulldogs Seek Best Ivy Start Since 2009; Host Harvard

Bulldogs Seek Best Ivy Start Since 2009; Host Harvard

Yale Meets Crimson Saturday At 4 p.m.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's soccer team opened Ivy League play with a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory at Princeton last weekend. The Bulldogs play their first home Ivy game on Saturday, hosting Harvard. Kickoff at Reese Stadium is slated for 4 p.m., the first game of a doubleheader with the Yale men, who host Harvard at 7 p.m.

Here are storylines for the Ivy opener:

• The Bulldogs are looking to win their first two Ivy games for the first time since the 2009 team started 3-0 in league play.

• Yale has played a pair of overtime goals this season, and Paula Hagopian has emerged as the hero both times. She scored the winning goal against Towson on Sept. 15 and then struck again last Saturday against Princeton. Hagopian, who had a hand in all three Yale goals against the Tigers, was named the Ivy League Player of the Week and also was named a Prime Time Performer by collegesoccer360.com.

• Overtime has not been kind to Yale recently against Harvard. Last year, the Crimson scored the only goal of the game four minutes into the extra period, and two years ago, Peyton Johnson scored on a penalty kick just 2:16 into overtime to lift Harvard to a 2-1 victory in New Haven.

Melissa Gavin, who scored against Princeton, shares the Ivy League lead with six goals and 14 points.

Frannie Coxe, who started the winning play in overtime against Princeton, leads the Ivy League with six assists.

• Goalkeeper Rachel Ames had her best game of the season last Saturday. She made a season-high eight saves, including several difficult ones, to earn the victory. On the season, Ames has stopped 33 shots, which is tied for the second most in the Ivy League.

• Harvard (4-3-1, 1-0 Ivy) won its Ivy League opener, knocking off Penn 2-1 in Cambridge last Saturday. The winning goal came on an own goal with 11 minutes left in the second half.

• Margaret Purce leads the Crimson with five goals. Peyton Johnson has a team-best three assists.

• Three goalkeepers have started between the pipes for the Crimson and will rotate in net. Bethany Kanten has earned four starts, seeing 270 minutes in net and posting a 1.67 goals against average. Cheta Emba has started three games, maintaining a 0.31 GAA (290 minutes). Freshman Lizzie Durack (2-0) – coming off a UEFA finals appearance with England's U19 team – earned her first career win in 90 minutes against LIU and has logged 270 minutes with a 0.33 GAA and two shutouts.  

• Harvard has won five straight games in the series.

• Yale All-Access Video of the game is available through the Ivy League Digital Network. Fans can also follow live stats.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity