In the first of its final two games of the season, women’s soccer (7-5-3, 0-3-2 Ivy), still searching for its first conference win, will face Yale (7-5-1, 2-2-1 Ivy).
After a tough three-game stretch against Ivy opponents during which the team failed to generate a single goal, the offense has seemed to return for the Lions. In their last two games—both on the road—they have scored five goals.
Yet the record in these two most recent games is a disappointing 0-1-1. Although the Lions generated several scoring opportunities, they also gave up seven goals to Princeton and Dartmouth out of the 20 goals they’ve given up during the season overall.
Yale, currently fifth in the league, will provide an opportunity to gauge whether the Lions have fixed their problems defending the goal. The Bulldogs began the year 4-1 and won their first Ivy contest 3-2 in overtime against Princeton.
Yale went on to lose home matches to top-ranked Harvard and fourth-place Dartmouth before bouncing back for a 1-0 win over Cornell and a 1-1 tie at Penn. Aside from the Princeton game, the Yale offense has failed to score more than one goal in conference play.
Nonetheless, Bulldog Melissa Gavin will be a major concern for the struggling Light Blue. She comes into the matchup with nine goals and three assists.
Defensive adjustments will be key as the Lions look to pick up their first victory. For most of last year, opponents averaged less than one goal scored per game, but as the Light Blue defense has continued to struggle, this number has ballooned to 1.33 during the 2013 season.
Senior Beverly Leon leads the team with seven goals and six assists and has been a major part of the offensive renaissance that has kept the team afloat. With two games left to play, the team has scored a total of 25 goals—with six Lions scoring three goals each—after accumulating just 16 goals during the last season.
After that rough road schedule, Columbia will be relieved to be the host team. If the Lions manage to stay stout on the defensive end, it may be their best chance to pick up their first conference win.
The action begins at 1 p.m. this Saturday at the Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium.