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Two Early Goals Lift Yale Over Robert Morris

Noelle Higginson (Don Clark photo)
Noelle Higginson (Don Clark photo)

Higginson, Chavarin Score In First 8:46

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – There was a lesson to be learned for the Yale women's soccer team in the last game before the start of Ivy League play. The Bulldogs raced out to a 2-0 lead over Robert Morris, scoring twice in the first 8 minutes, 46 seconds of the game, dominated play over the next 70 minutes, but then had an anxious final 10 minutes after the Colonials pulled within one. Still, the result was a 2-1 victory on a very warm afternoon at Reese Stadium.

"We have to get that third goal," lamented Rudy Meredith, the Loring Family and Rudolph L. Meredith Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "We did it against Howard [in the season opener]. It makes it really difficult to come back. 2-0 is a weird lead in soccer."

The lack of a third goal wasn't from lack of opportunities. The Bulldogs fired 24 shots at Robert Morris' goal. Two went in, four were saved, one hit the crossbar, one hit the post and 16 missed the net. That last stat was what left Meredith frustrated.

"We have to force the goalie make a save," he said. "I think we want to score so badly, we are forgetting about technique. We'll focus on that."

Nevertheless, Yale (5-2-1) will take a bunch of positive momentum into next Saturday's Ivy League opener with Princeton. The Bulldogs have won four straight games and are unbeaten in their last five.

"It's nice to know we didn't play our best and still got a win," Meredith said.

After 10 minutes of play, the Bulldogs were on pace to score 18 goals. The first goal came at 7:30 off a corner kick. Saje Brar sent a ball toward the box that deflected out to Alexandra McCraven. McCraven then sent a perfect ball forward that Noelle Higginson one-timed past RMU goalkeeper Sydney Bruckner from right in front.

Just 1:16 later, Yale struck again. This time Brar sent a nifty ball forward to a streaking Aerial Chavarin, who finished on a breakaway at 8:46.

The Bulldogs kept constant pressure on RMU and while they didn't score, they were still very much in control of the game.

That changed when Taylor Burkley scored for the Colonials with 9:21 remaining.

Robert Morris then nearly tied with 1:05 left when Bailey Farabaugh got behind the defense and fired a shot that deflected off the post.

That was the last good chance for the Colonials (2-8).

Next Saturday's date with Princeton is a 4 p.m. kickoff at Reese Stadium. The Tigers are the defending Ivy champions.

Report filed by Tim Bennett (, Yale Sports Publicity