Westfal's Overtime Goal Beats Harvard

Sept. 29, 2007

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Entering Saturday, the last six Yale-Harvard games had been decided by one goal or ended in a tie, so it wasn't surprising that 90 minutes wasn't enough to decide a winner. It didn't take much longer than 90 minutes, though. Maggie Westfal scored just 3:04 into the first overtime period as the Bulldogs edged the Crimson 2-1 in the Ivy opener for both teams before an overflow crowd of 1,241 at Reese Stadium.

Kate Macauley set up the game-winning goal when she did some fancy dribbling and centered a ball to Westfal, who settled it and fired a hard shot through Harvard goalkeeper Lauren Mann from just inside the box. It was Westfal's team-leading fifth goal of the season and the fourth straight game she has scored.

"I expected Maggie to have a big year," said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith. "She is playing up front this year and is very capable of shooting, passing or dribbling, which makes her hard to defend."

Neither team created many scoring chances in the first half. The Bulldogs, though, started the second half strong, and it paid off when Caitlin Collins scored her first goal of the season at 48:30. Westfal set up the goal by dribbling toward the end line and crossing a ball to Collins, who was alone in the box.

"[Assistant] Coach [Bob] Dikranian noticed some things in the first half, so we made some adjustments," Meredith said. "I let him talk to the team at halftime."

Yale's lead was shortlived, however. Rachael Lau scored an unassisted goal for the Crimson nearly eight minutes later when she fired a shot from 25 yards out along the right wing.

The Bulldogs (5-4, 1-0 Ivy) nearly won it near the end of regulation, but Macauley's shot from just outside the box went over the crossbar.

Harvard's best chance to win came in the 85th minute when Lizzy Nichols's shot from 20 yards out was just wide.

Yale outshot the Crimson 23-12 in the game. Susan Starr played the first half in goal for the Bulldogs and made three saves. Ayana Sumiyasu went the rest of the way and stopped two shots. Mann finished with eight saves for the Harvard (5-3-1, 0-1 Ivy).

"I give our girls a lot of credit," Meredith said. "We could have gotten down after Harvard scored, but we kept fighting and fighting."

Yale's defense of Mary Kuder, Sophia Merrifield, Natalia Mann, Hayley Zevenbergen and Hannah Smith did a good of limiting the chances for Harvard's leading scorer Katherine Sheeleigh, who entered the game with five goals. Sheeleigh had five shots but all were contested.

"Because of the schedule we've played, we've seen a lot of players as good as she is, so we know how to defend her," Meredith said.

The Bulldogs have won four straight games and are now 4-1-1 in their last six games against Harvard.

Yale hosts Quinnipiac on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Reese Stadium.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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