NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The Columbia University women's soccer team saw its chances at an Ivy League championship slip away on Saturday evening, as Kristen Forster's goal in the 87th minute broke a 1-1 deadlock and gave Yale a 2-1 victory over the Lions at Reese Stadium.
Despite winning the battle in shots, 11-7, and having numerous quality scoring opportunities over the course of the match, Columbia falls to 9-4-3 overall and 3-2-1 in the Ivy League.
Junior Ashlin Yahr scored her team-leading seventh goal of the season in the 25th minute off a cross from classmate Lindsay Mushett. Bulldogs goalkeeper Ayana Sumiyasa made seven saves over 90 minutes, including a pair of diving stops on close-range shots.
The Lions fended off three corner kicks by Yale in the third minute, before creating a great chance in the 11th minute. Junior Marissa Schultz made a nice pass to first-year Coleen Rizzo in front of the goal. Rizzo one-timed a shot to the right side of frame, but Sumiyasu made a sprawling save on the chance to keep the match scoreless.
Less than seven minutes later, Yale would take advantage of the Lions' missed opportunity. Reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Becky Brown found Miyuki Hino down the right side all alone. Hino took a dribble and slid a shot off the far post and in to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
The advantage would be short-lived, however, as Columbia came storming back for the equalizer in the 25th minute. Mushett received a pass on the right side and drilled a cross into the box to Yahr, who re-directed a shot past Sumiyasu to knot the contest at 1-1.
In the second half, the Bulldogs had a pair of shots early but Katie Macauley and Enma Mullo were off the mark on their attempts. The Lions regained control, and Schultz had a chance to break the tie at the 60-minute mark but Sumiyasu was up to the task again and made the save.
The match would go back and forth for the next 20 minutes, with both sides unable to break down each other's defense. In the 87th minute, however, Yale came up with the go-ahead goal as Forster took a feed from Mary Kubiuk and fired a shot that got past junior goalkeeper Lillian Klein to give the Bulldogs the lead with just over three minutes remaining.
Undaunted, Columbia would come back with avengence and made a strong bid to tie the match in the closing moments. Junior Liz Wicks took a shot off a cross from Schultz that clanged off the post seconds after the score by Yale. The ball bounced around for a moment before Schultz gathered and had a go in an unsettled situation. But Sumiyasu made a diving stop again to preserve the Yale victory.
The Lions will close out their 2010 campaign on Saturday, Nov. 6 at Harvard.