October 4, 2008

Harvard Tops Yale 3-1

Oct. 4, 2008

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Melanie Baskind scored and added two assists to lead Harvard to a 3-1 victory over Yale in an Ivy League women's soccer game on a sunny but windy afternoon at Ohiri Field. Maggie Westfal had the goal for the Bulldogs.

"Harvard was clearly the better team today," said Yale head coach Rudy Meredith. "They outplayed us in every aspect of the game."

The Crimson (4-3-3, 1-1 Ivy) had the wind at its back in the first half and used it to its advantage, outshooting the Bulldogs 10-3. Still, Harvard needed a little bit of a lucky break to grab the lead. Katherine Sheeleigh took a feed from Baskind, dribbled down the near side and sent what appeared to be a cross toward the box. Instead, it deflected off a Yale defender and into the net at 33:16.

"The wind was a bit of a factor," Meredith said. "It kept us on our heels. We were trying our best to go in tied at the half."

Even after Harvard scored, it appeared the game might be tied at the intermission for a brief second, but a Becky Brown goal was nullified by an offside call.

The Bulldogs (5-5-1, 0-2) picked up their intensity in the second half, but the Crimson used an excellent counterattack to take a 2-0 lead at 55:19 when Baskind's shot from the right side of the box found the back of the net. The goal came only a few moments after Yale defender Hannah Smith made a sliding save to stop what appeared to be a sure Harvard goal.

The Crimson sealed the victory at 66:48 when Christina Hagner scored off a corner kick.

Yale was awarded a penalty kick at 84:55. Harvard goalkeeper Lauren Mann made a diving save on Westfal's shot, but the rebound came right back to Westfal, and she banged it home for her team-leading seventh goal of the season.

The Crimson outshot the Bulldogs 21-13 in the game and had a 9-4 edge in corner kicks.

Ayana Sumiyasu made eight saves in goal for Yale, while Mann finished with three stops for Harvard.

The Bulldogs, who have scored only one goal in their first two Ivy games, are at Dartmouth next Saturday at 7 p.m.

"We didn't think [scoring] would be a problem," Meredith said, "but we'll focus on it in practice between now and next week."

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

video by David Dikranian