With snow piles still on campus, we were lucky to be invited to play at Yale, whose fields were open. We saw snow flakes when we left around 8am but good 10C/50F temps welcomed us in New Haven. The wind, however, made it feel much cooler, but it was good playing weather.
The field was very bumpy and the grass extremely short, so the ball moved erratically. Because of the wind, we spoke about making passes on the ground in hopes of keeping possession.
Nat's dad and Caroline's parents and sweet puppy Rosie joined us! We had been invited to play both of Yale's club teams, so games were scheduled for noon and 1:30. We accepted Yale's offer to play shortened halves -- 30' each.
Mel offered to play in goal (Laura's off campus this term) because she picked up an injury during our indoor game at Grantham last week. Very brave of her! We decided to reuse our 4-5-1 (4 defenders - 5 midfielders - 1 striker) formation because it seemed to work well last fall for controlling the game and maintaining the most possession.
The C1 team seemed the more skilled of the two Yale teams, and they got off the first shot, but Namya and Christyn both got off shots before Katie (in left defense) got way forward (GOOD JOB) and crossed the ball to Namya, who fed it to Lizzie for the only goal of the game in the 26th minute. The goal was proof that we learned how to overcome a very organized Yale defense that crowded their goal -- coming from the left side made it much harder for Yale to defend.
Yale had some chances after that, and Namya and Elise got off more shots. Our back line was impenetrable and very well coordinated. They showed composure in our third by connecting good passes (sometimes even back-passes) and sometimes making attacking dribble-runs out of the back that were exciting to see!
Our midfield was energetic and quick. Yale put up immense pressure, so it was difficult to keep possession, but we earned the ball back by working hard.
The C2 team seemed very feisty and more physical, but we maintained our composure and kept our pace high. We had more shots on target in this game. After Namya, Jenna, Lizzie and Haley got off a series of shots in the first half, Yale got their only shot just before the break.
We spoke about stepping to the ball sooner and making more diagonal runs and passes. After only two minutes into the 2nd half, Caroline hit a cracker of a shot from something like 30 yd out, coming from the left side of the field and hitting the far side net for our first goal.
Yale kept working hard and at times were pretty physical, perhaps due to frustration, but we maintained our work rate, too, and were rewarded late in the game when Sarah's corner found Lizzie for our 2nd goal.
For not playing very much all winter we looked sprightly and sharp! Perhaps our team was just excited to be outdoors in bright but windy sunshine. Our fitness looked great, too, playing two hours with only 5 substitutes and not looking at all tired!
CM: Sarah L+Namya+Meredith, Caroline+Elise
OM: Haley+Jenna, Nat+Christyn
F: Lizzie, Morgan
Shots 6:6 Saves 1:2
v Yale C1
4 Yale shot wide
11 Namya shot wide
18 Yale shot wide
19 Christyn shot saved
20 Yale shot wide
23 Namya shot wide
26 Katie to Namya to Lizzie --> 1:0
28 Yale shot wide
34 Yale shot blocked
50 Namya shot wide
54 Yale corner
55 Elise shot saved
56 Yale corner
59 Yale shot saved
Shots 8:1 Saves 0:5
v Yale C2
5 Namya shot wide
6 Jenna shot saved for a corner
6 Katie shot saved
18 Lizzie shot saved
19 Haley shot saved
24 Lizzie shot saved
29 Yale corner, shot wide
32 Caroline from 30 yd! --> 1:0
48 Dartmouth corner
52 Yale corner
53 Yale corner (2)
56 Dartmouth corner
56 Sarah corner to Lizzie --> 2:0
57 Yale corner