September 12, 2008

Big First Half Leads Yale Past Western Carolina 3-1

Sept. 12, 2008

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The weather conditions for the first day of the Yale Classic were less than ideal, but it didn't seem to affect the Bulldogs. Becky Brown scored twice and added an assist as Yale scored three times in the first half en route to a 3-1 victory over Western Carolina on a rainy night at Reese Stadium.

"This was the best first half we've played all season," said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith. "To Western Carolina's credit, they stepped it up in the second half, but I thought we did a better job of protecting a lead."

The Bulldogs (2-2) wasted little time getting on the board. In the 12th minute, Becky Brown sent a cross to a wide open Emma Whitfield, who knocked it in from right in front. Maggie Westfal also was credited with an assist.

Brown then scored twice in a 1:07 stretch midway through the first half as Yale seized control. The first goal was set up by Whitfield, while Westfal assisted on the second.

"I've been very pleased with Becky so far this season," Meredith said of Brown, who leads the team with three goals and eight points. "You're always worried about a sophomore slump, but she has been nowhere close to that."

Western Carolina (1-4) cut the deficit to 3-1 early in the second half when Nikki Collins dribbled down the right side, cut in and took advantage of Yale goalkeeper Adelaide Gay being caught out of position.

Yale outshot the Catamounts 15-9, including 12-2 in the first 45 minutes. The three goals were a season high for the Bulldogs.

"I think our whole offense gained some confidence tonight," Meredith said. "It was good for Emma to get her first goal. That should help her. I think scoring three goals also helped our defense. They could relax a little bit. They knew one mistake wasn't going to kill us."

Ayana Sumiyasu started in goal for the Bulldogs and blanked Western Carolina in the first half. Gay, a freshman, then saw the first action of her career over the final 45 minutes and made one save.

Delaware defeated Sacred Heart 5-1 in the first game of the evening.

The Classic concludes on Sunday as Sacred Heart faces Western Carolina at 11:30 a.m., while Yale plays Delaware at 1:30 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity