The men’s soccer program drools at mere mention of the Brown Classic. In two of the past four years, the Bulldogs have knocked off the defending NCAA champion in the tournament. This year, the Elis had to settle for beating the runner-up.
After opening its regular season with a 2-0 loss to Wisconsin (3-4) Saturday, Yale (1-1) returned to action Sunday and defeated nationally ranked No. 19 Stanford (1-3), 2-1, at the adidas-Brown Classic in Providence, R.I. The Cardinal fell to UCLA in the final of the 2002 College Cup.
“No one expected to lose,” defender Jon Skalecki ’05 said. “We know we have a good team. We knew we could win.”
Matt Janusz gave Stanford the early 1-0 lead at 14:22 with his second goal of the season. But Yale knotted the score less than five minutes later when Alex Munns ’07 received a pass from midfielder Lindsey Williams ’05 18 yards out and blasted the ball by the goal keeper into the net.
“We went down early,” Munns said. “However, I knew it was only a matter of time before something happened.”
The score remained tied through halftime and most of the second half as both teams battled for possession.
Finally, in the 87th minute, Yale broke the deadlock. Williams took the ball down the right flank, escaped his defender and with only the goalie to beat, was tackled from behind in the box. He was awarded a penalty kick.
Andrew Dealy ’05, an honorable mention All-Ivy selection last year, converted the penalty kick at 86:46 to put the Bulldogs up, 2-1, securing the win.
“It was very dramatic,” Munns said. “When the call was made, a hush fell over the stadium. You couldn’t hear a thing. As Dealy went to set the ball, all the guys on the bench locked arms and jumped up and down in anticipation. When he scored, we just erupted. It was the greatest feeling.”
Yale defender Skalecki said the victory was deserved given the team’s gritty performance.
“We just played hard from the beginning,” said Skalecki, who was sidelined last year with a torn ACL. “We outplayed them in the first half. It was a battle in the second half, and we came out on top.”
The Bulldogs appeared to have shaken any of the rust Sunday they showed the day before in their season opener. Yale was disorganized from the start and never managed to get its act together against the Badgers, who got on the board early and never looked back.
“It was a major disappointment,” Skalecki said. “We didn’t have a good showing. It was our first game of the season, and we had some things we still needed to work on.”
Wisconsin’s Phil Doeh scored on a deflection at 14:39 for the game-winner, and David Martinez added an insurance goal for the Badgers at the 78:10 mark.
Wisconsin goal keeper Eric Hanson made six saves to earn the shutout, while Matt Aleksinas ’06 saved five in goal for the Elis.
“We didn’t play to our potential,” Munns said. “We were not able to do the things that we do best. We didn’t stay organized, and we didn’t punish our opponent when we had opportunities.”
Notes: Brown defeated Wisconsin, 4-3, to capture the title. The Bears defeated Stanford, 2-1, in the first round of the tournament– Dealy and midfielder Ryan Raybould ’05 were named to the All-Tournament Team.