Women’s Soccer Edges Yale in Regular Season Finale, 2-1
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Junior Chloe Cross (Seattle, Wash.) headed in a first half goal and senior Kiersten Berg (Salt Lake City, Utah) fired in a second half tally to lift the Brown women's soccer team over Yale, 2-1, in non-conference action at Stevenson Field on Sunday. The Bears close the book on their regular season with a 10-6-1 overall record and 4-2-1 mark in Ivy play to finish third in the league. The Bulldogs drop to 7-8-1 overall and place fifth in the Ancient Eight with a 2-4-1 showing.
Brown honored its eight seniors during pregame ceremonies as they took the pitch for the last time at Stevenson Field: MC Barrett (Ithaca, N.Y.), Berg, Amber Bledsoe (Cincinnati, Ohio), Alison Mullin (Boulder, Colo.), Louisa Pitney (Washington, D.C.), Mika Siegelman (Piedmont, Calif.), Maddie Wiener (Portland, Ore.) and Emily Wingrove (Westwood, Mass.).
The Bears did battle with the Bulldogs for the second time in as many days in the home-and-home series and came away with another victory thanks to Cross's team-leading seventh goal at 21:24 and Berg's fourth of the season with 3:35 left in regulation.
Brown created scoring opportunities early and often, beginning with a Berg breakaway down the right side that resulted in a shot just wide left with defenders bearing down. Minutes later, Cross split two defenders to gain position 10 yards out and clanked a shot off the bar for the tough-luck miss.
Yale grabbed its first shot on goal at 20:15 when Geneva Decker sliced a shot from inside the 18 only to have Bledsoe fall on it for one of her seven saves in the victory.
Brown got on the board after Berg created an opportunity with a wide slice in the box that Yale's Meredith Speck attempted to clear only to have the ball spin straight up in the air. A scurry for possession sent the ball out of bounds and set up Annie Gillen (San Clemente, Calif.) for the corner kick. Gillen's ball curved toward the net and Cross got a head on the first bounce to beat Bulldog keeper Rachel Ames and put the Bears up 1-0.
The hosts threatened again in the 41st minute on a majestic Siegelman pass from 20 yards out, but Erin Katz's (Montgomery, Ala.) header sailed high and harmlessly out of bounds. Yale followed with its best chance of the half as Shannon McSweeney put one off the crossbar with 1:50 left and Brown failed to clear the rebound. Bledsoe dove for the loose ball, which squirted out of bounds off a Bulldog cleat to effectively end the half.
Elise Wilcox got the call in net for Yale in the second half and rose to the occasion with a sprawling one-handed save on a Cross shot from the left endline. Pitney pounced on the rebound and immediately footed a shot from close range but Wilcox calmly grabbed the save.
Brown's defense did not disappoint either and Barrett stepped out to make a decisive two-handed punch to redirect a hooking corner kick at 79:15, followed minutes later by an aggressive slide tackle by Mullin to break up a Bulldog breakaway down the left sideline. On the next possession, Anne Moody (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) filled the net and blocked a would-be goal on a second-chance Yale shot to preserve the 1-0 lead.
Berg rewarded her defense at 86:25 and finished a leading pass from Siegelman with a sharp sinking shot from the left wing to put the Bears up 2-1. Yale's Juliann Jeffrey refused to quit, however, and carried the ball through several defenders before blasting an uncontested shot from straight away to halve the deficit with 2:28 to play.
Brown outlasted the Bulldogs for the remainder of the contest without incident, prevailing by a final score of 2-1 to conclude the regular season with its best overall record since 2011.
Barrett complimented Bledsoe's seven saves with three stops of her own, while Ames made five saves for the visitors.