PROVIDENCE, RI – Sophomore Chloe Cross (Seattle, WA) and junior Kiersten Berg (Salt Lake City, UT) both scored goals to help lead the Brown women's soccer team (7-8-1, 1-5-1) to a 2-2 double overtime tie with Yale (7-7-2, 1-4-2) in a nationally televised game (Fox Soccer) Thursday evening at Stevenson Field.
Trailing, 1-0, to start the second half, the Bulldogs scored twice in a span of 18 minutes to grab a 2-1 lead with 11:29 left in regulation. However, Brown continued to fight and Berg netted the equalizer after a scramble in front with just 4:56 remaining to force overtime.
"To score the first goal was big for us," said head coach Phil Pincince. "We probably had the better of play in the first half. I thought they had the better of the play in the second half. They ended up getting two goals, but we really did a great job to get the equalizer and then in overtime, defending on those corners."
The Bears came out with energy and dominated the opening 20 minutes, controlling the ball throughout the midfield with crisp, quick passing. Brown broke through in the 21st minute on Cross' fifth goal of the season. Junior Alison Mullin (Boulder, CO) crossed the ball to senior Eliza Marshall (North Andover, MA) in the center of the box. Marshall was taken down on the play but was able to get the ball over to Cross, who one-timed a shot into the left corner, giving Brown a 1-0 lead.
The Bears looked to extend their lead in the 37th minute, but junior Louisa Pitney's (Washington, DC) attempt from outside the box, which appeared to have Yale goalie Rachel Ames beat high, ricocheted off the cross-bar, as the teams headed into the first intermission with Brown leading, 1-0.
Yale picked up its intensity in the second half and scored twice in a span of 18 minutes to take a 2-1 lead. The first goal came when Shannon Conneely played a cross through traffic that the Bears failed to clear. It came right to Kristen Forster at the top of the box and she sent a high shot towards the upper left corner. Junior Amber Bledsoe (Cincinnati, OH) got a piece of the ball, but it deflected up and into the net to tie the game at 1-1 at 60:22.
The Bulldogs then took a 2-1 lead at 78:31 when Frannie Coxe crossed the ball from the left side through the box with Melissa Gavin chasing up the middle. Gavin stayed onside, corralled the ball and raced in for a one-on-one opportunity. With just Bledsoe to beat, Gavin placed her shot towards the left side of the net.
Following Brown's tying goal at 85:04, Forster had a golden opportunity to win the game for the Bulldogs. With Bledsoe on the left side of the goal, Forster collected a lose ball from six yards out and tried to place it into the right side. However, her shot hit the near post, as the two teams headed for overtime.
Both Brown and Yale had chances to win the game in the extra session, but the defensive sides for each team stood strong to help preserve the tie. With under three minutes remaining in the first overtime, Yale's Paula Hagopian had a dangerous run towards the goal, but sophomore Annie Gillen (San Clemente, CA) was there to break up the play. Her defensive stop, set up a Yale corner kick with 2:40 remaining, which subsequently led to two more corners for the Bulldogs, but Brown held on, and the team's headed into the final 10-minute period.
Brown outshot Yale, 3-0, during the last 10 minutes of action and junior Mika Siegelman (Piedmont, CA) nearly set up Cross for the game-winner with 1:02 remaining. However, Ames beat Cross to the ball in a foot-race inside the box and the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
"I am glad it was showcased on Fox Soccer," said Pincince. "There are some special players in the Ivy League. It's an intense league and it's special that we get to play in a league that is this exciting. This was a good game, a good Ivy battle."
For the game, Brown edged Yale in shots, 17-16, while Yale earned 10 corners to Brown's one. Bledsoe recorded two saves, but was also key in helping the defense thwart dangerous Yale crosses. At the other end, Ames recorded nine saves for the Bulldogs.
The Bears and Bulldogs will face each other on Sunday, November 4th, when the teams meet for a 1:00 p.m. non-league contest in New Haven. It marks the final game of the 2012 season for both squads.