A year ago, the Princeton University women’s soccer team rallied from an early deficit to pull out a 2-1 overtime win at Yale in the Ivy League opener.
The bounces went the Tigers’ way in that contest as they prevailed when a Bulldog player inadvertently headed in a ball into her own goal on a throw in.
That victory helped catapult Princeton on a memorable campaign which saw it go 7-0 in Ivy play and advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Last Saturday when the rivals met to start their 2013 league campaign, Yale turned the tables on the Tigers, rallying from deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 to force overtime and then winning the contest 3-2 on a goal against the run of the play.
In reflecting on the setback, a disappointed Princeton head coach Julie Shackford acknowledged that her squad let one get away.
“I thought we did enough to win; we just didn’t finish our chances,” said Shackford, whose team outshot Yale 22-16 on the afternoon, including 4-1 in the extra session. “You can’t let those leads slip away. That was disappointing.”
The Tigers were in the lead much of the day as they jumped ahead 1-0 with 14:28 remaining in the first half as freshman Jesse McDonough converted a feed from junior Lauren Lazo for her first career goal.
After Yale knotted the game at 1-1 early in the second half, Princeton forged back ahead 2-1 as freshman Haley Chow found the back of the net on a scramble in front of the goal for her first career tally. The Bulldogs tied the game up at 2-2 minutes later on a goal by Melissa Gavin and neither team scored over the rest of regulation.
In the first overtime, Princeton put the pressure on, generating four shots and dominating possession. But Yale got loose on a counterattack and Paula Hagopian scored to win the game with 1:16 left in the first extra session.
The breakthrough tallies by McDonough and Chow were highlights for the Tigers.
“I thought Jesse McDonough did well,” said Shackford, whose team moved to 4-2-2 overall.
“I thought Haley Chow came in and did well for us. We definitely have some freshmen who are making contributions.”
While Princeton definitely had its moments, it didn’t show consistency. “It just wasn’t our day,” said Shackford.
“We just weren’t on top of the game for as long as we usually are. There were not enough stretches where we were dominant. I definitely think there were some defensive lapses.”
Despite the lapse against Yale, Shackford is confident that her squad will be in the thick of the Ivy race this fall.
“It was unfortunate; it was a tough Ivy League battle,” said Shackford, whose team gets back into Ivy action when it plays at Dartmouth on October 5.
“We have just got to stick together; as we know it is tough to go through the Ivy League undefeated.”