At 5 feet 4 inches, Brown goaltender Steffi Yellin is among the more petite players on the Bear’s roster. And as far as goalies go, she’s the most vertically challenged in all of Ivy League soccer. Against the host Crimson women’s team this past Saturday (Oct. 13), however, the talented sophomore played a mighty big game for her struggling Brown squad (3-7-1; 1-2 Ivy), fearlessly punching, whapping, and tapping a torrent of shots to thwart Harvard’s aggressive frontline.
All told, Yellin tallied 10 saves against the Crimson (8-4-1; 1-2-0 Ivy), who mustered a blistering 24 shots on goal on the afternoon — including 16 in the second half — to help her club escape Cambridge with a 1-0 victory.
The loss snapped Harvard’s five-game unbeaten streak at Ohiri Field, while extending the Crimson’s winless streak versus Brown to three straight seasons. Harvard (who last beat Brown, 1-0, in double overtime back in the 2004 season) is now tied for fourth place in the league standings with Columbia, Yale, Dartmouth, and those bad news Bears. And with the seventh-ranked Harvard men (8-2-1, 1-1 Ivy) having dropped their contest to the club from Providence in the day’s opening contest, 3-2 in extra minutes (wrecking their undefeated home record, as well), it would seem a rivalry is brewing.
Meanwhile, in the women’s match this weekend, Harvard appeared to score the go-ahead goal with under nine minutes remaining in the first stanza, but the pretty breakaway goal featuring active freshman Katherine Sheeleigh and Megan Merritt ’08 was ruled invalid after Merritt was called offside. The ruling served to preserve the scoreless tally as the teams exchanged errant shots before breaking for halftime.
After the intermission, Brown wasted little time in scoring the eventual game-winning tally. Just 33 ticks into the second half, the Bears capitalized on a wild scramble in front of the Crimson box when Jamie Mize knocked a deflected ball past Harvard goalie Lauren Mann ’10 for the game’s lone goal.
Harvard responded with continued heavy pressure for the remainder of the game, urgently firing off a sequence of shots. The end product, however, was little more than a virtual clinic for Yellin. With just over three minutes left in the contest, the Brown defender grabbed save number 10 when she collected a loose ball on her knees in heavy traffic. The play served to cool off the surging Crimson, while effectively assuring the home team its first goalless game of the season. Harvard’s Mann, meanwhile, finished with five saves, while Sheeleigh paced the Crimson with seven shots.
The Crimson women resume league play Saturday (Oct. 20) when they host the rolling Princeton Tigers (3-0 Ivy) at Ohiri Field. Kickoff is set for noon.