Seniors sent off on sour note as women’s soccer drops finale

Tying goal disallowed as Bears can’t escape early hole, losing to Yale and ending in tie for seventh

Sports Staff Writer
Monday, November 10, 2014

The women’s soccer team closed out its season at home Friday in a 2-1 defeat to Yale on Senior Night.

Prior to the game, the Bears (6-8-3, 1-4-2 Ivy) celebrated Senior Night by honoring the squad’s seven departing team members: Kirsten Belinsky ’15, Jenn Casey ’15, Briel Crespi ’15, Chloe Cross ’15, Anastasia Gillen ’15, Allie Reilly ’15 and Mallory Yant ’15. All seven were included in the team’s starting lineup.

“Senior Night was really special having all of our parents there and honored with us before the game,” Belinsky said. “It was a great time for us as players to look back on these four years and remember those who have helped and supported us along the way.”

Both squads came out strong, as Yale (8-4-4, 2-1-4) headed into intermission with just an 8-6 advantage in shots taken. But unlike Bruno, the Bulldogs successfully capitalized on their opportunities during the first half. In the 22nd minute, Yale’s Sarah McCauley put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard with a header. Less than three minutes later, McCauley tallied another goal off helpers from Melissa Gavin and Meredith Speck to lift the Bulldogs to a 2-0 lead. The Bears counterattacked with a shot from Erin Katz ’16 at the 31-minute-mark, but the attempt was stopped by a highlight save from Yale’s Elise Wilcox.

Going into the second half, Bruno quickly responded with a goal of its own. Less than two minutes into the period, Mikela Waldman ’18 found the back of the net with a volley off helpers from Sydney Calas ’17 and Jaclyn Alois ’17. In the 78th minute, the Bears appeared to have tied up the game with a shot from Belinsky off a helper from Waldman, but it was ruled offside.

“That play was a great team-effort. It involved a lot of players and passes before it got to Mikela, who did a great job of driving to the goal,” Belinsky said. “I didn’t think about being offside because I was running right next to a defender, but as I ran to hug Mikela I could see the sideline ref put her flag up. It was unfortunate because we really did have a lot of momentum, and obviously that goal would have tied us up.”

The season concluded with a last-place conference standing for the Bears, while Harvard was crowned Ivy League champions for the second consecutive year. This is Harvard’s 12th Ivy title, tying the school with Brown for most overall.

“I’m excited to see how the team does next year,” Belinsky said. “There are a lot of smart, strong and experienced returning players, and I think they have a lot of potential to showcase that in the coming years.”

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