Sept. 7, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Senior Hayley Zevenbergen made her first career goal an important one. Zevenbergen, who was playing in her 52nd career game, scored off a corner kick with 6:25 left in the second half to snap a scoreless tie and lift the Yale women's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over St. John's on a gorgeous afternoon at Reese Stadium.
The victory, Yale's first of the season, came just two days after Friday's heartbreaking overtime loss to UConn in the season opener. The Huskies had tied the game with just one second left in regulation to force the extra period.
"I'm really pleased with how we bounced back, both mentally and physically," said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith. "St. John's didn't play on Friday, and it was hot today. We talked yesterday about making sure there were no side effects mentally from the tough loss on Friday."
Yale controlled play for much of the game, outshooting the Red Storm 5-3 in the first half and 14-9 for the game. Nevertheless, it was scoreless until late in the second half when the Bulldogs capitalized on one of their seven corner kicks. Maggie Westfal sent a long cross into the box. The ball was deflected out to Zevenbergen, who knocked it into the left corner.
"Hayley's been struggling with an injury a little bit," Meredith said. "I thought she gave us some energy, and she took advantage of the opportunity."
Yale had the two best scoring chances of the first half. Becky Brown was denied from in front on a diving save by St. John's goalkeeper Kristin Russell with 24:23 left, and less than three minutes later, Brown sent a nice cross to Emma Whitfield, but her header went wide.
"We did a lot better job of possessing the ball," Meredith said. "I thought we panicked a little bit on Friday when UConn pressured us."
Ayana Sumiyasu had her second strong game in goal for the Bulldogs. She finished with three saves to post her first career shutout. Her best stop of the game came midway through the second half when she dove to her left to smother Sarah McGrath's shot from 20 yards out.
St. John's (3-1) had won its first three games of the season and was receiving votes in this week's NSCAA top 25 national poll.
Yale is right back in action on Tuesday night, traveling to Fairfield for a 7 p.m. kickoff with the Stags.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity