The road was no more welcoming than home this past weekend for the men’s soccer team.
Traveling to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the fourth annual Golden Hurricane Classic, the Bulldogs (0-6-0) failed to record their first victory of the season, falling to Southern Methodist University 5-2 Friday and 3-1 to host Tulsa yesterday.
Friday night, against nationally ranked No. 15 SMU, the Elis hung tough in the first half, only to see the Mustangs score four unanswered goals in the second.
Yale got goals from defender Jake Miller ’07 — his second of the season — and forward Alex Munns ’07.
SMU forward Duke Hashimoto tallied the first hat trick of his career and also added an assist. His heady seven points led the Mustangs.
As they have constantly this season, the Bulldogs came out of the gates on the offensive, testing goalkeeper T.J. Tomasso early on. The Elis’ first chance came in the game’s fifth minute, when forward Lindsey Williams ’05 failed to get one by Tomasso.
The Mustangs got a better result ten minutes later when midfielder Jake Jackson struck one past Eli goalkeeper Matt Aleksinas ’06 for his second goal of the season.
Forwards Gage Hills ’07 and Andrew Dealy ’05 had opportunities to tie the score after letting up the first goal, but Tomasso, who finished with five saves, managed to turn both their attempts away.
In the 43rd minute the Elis would score the equalizer when Miller headed one past Tomasso off a corner kick from fellow defender Shannon Brooks ’06.
But after Miller’s score, things unraveled for the Bulldogs.
Hashimoto scored his first goal minutes after Miller’s tally, and instead of heading into the locker room tied at halftime, the Bulldogs found themselves in a 2-1 hole.
For captain Ryan Raybould ’05, who is from the Midwest and had family present at the tournament, Hashimoto’s first goal was a big momentum-killer for the Elis.
“It’s always bad to give up a goal right before halftime,” Raybould said. “We were on an emotional high after our goal and [Hashimoto’s score] sucked the energy right out of us.”
The Bulldogs came out of halftime seemingly still demoralized by Hashimoto’s goal and allowed a third goal with eight minutes elapsed in the second half when midfielder Michael Uremovich one-timed a strike past Aleksinas into the right side of the net.
Hashimoto then proceeded to put on quite a show, scoring his final two goals less than a minute apart. His seven points in the game were the most in his career.
Yale made the score a little less lopsided with three minutes left to play. Munns knocked one in off a free kick for his first goal of the season.
The second half doomed the Bulldogs again in their game against nationally-ranked No. 25 Tulsa Sunday. Deadlocked at zero at halftime after keeping the Golden Hurricanes largely in check, the Bulldogs saw Tulsa reel off three straight goals in the second half in a matter of minutes.
“It was just a matter of concentration,” defender Jon Skalecki ’05 said of his team’s performance during the offensive onslaught. “Obviously after the first goal, everything fell apart for us.”
Midfielder Michael Clarke garnered the game’s first goal, off a rebound from a deflection. Just over a minute after Clarke’s goal, forward Todd Goddard blasted one past Eli goalkeeper Geoff Hollington ’05 — who had eight saves for the Elis — from eight yards out. The barrage was complete when All-American Ryan Pore scored on a penalty kick a minute later for Tulsa to make it 3-0.
The Elis, though, were able to avoid being shut out for the third time this season. In the 73rd minute, Williams scored his second goal of the season off a pass from Brooks.
Despite the two losses, Skalecki said that playing some of the best teams in the nation in hot conditions will help ease the transition to Ivy League play.
“Going back to the northeast where the weather is cooler and we know the competition better will help us,” he said.
Yale will have one more shot to earn its first win of the season before the Ivy League season when Fairfield comes to town on Wednesday. Raybould said the most important thing is not winning, but finding the lineup that will give the Bulldogs the best chance to win Ivies.
“We are not thinking about the records,” Raybould said. “I’m having a positive attitude, and the team is too, going into the game [against Fairfield]. The most important thing, though, is finding that right 11 heading into the Ivies.”