Overcoming an 0-6 start is taking longer than the men’s soccer team had hoped.
After their dismal beginning, the Bulldogs put together two wins in a row and appeared to have turned their season around. But they have since lost their last two games, most recently falling 3-0 to nationally ranked No. 14 Boston College last night at Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium.
Yale (2-8. 1-1 Ivy) and BC (8-3) were even for most of the game, but the Bulldogs’ inability to execute offensively proved to be the difference.
“I thought we played well for 80 minutes,” Yale captain Ryan Raybould ’05 said. “For 10 minutes we let those old demons come back, where we don’t take care of the little things.”
The Elis battled their way through a brutally physical matchup, which included 29 fouls, and kept the Eagles scoreless for the first 54 minutes.
Forward Charlie Davies and midfielder Johann Helgason combined to get BC on the board at 54:25. Helgason blasted a low shot from the left side of the field. Eli goalkeeper Geoff Hollington ’05 dove and got a hand on the ball, but Davies was there to tap the rebound into the net for the goal.
Less than two minutes later, the Bulldogs mounted an attack of their own. Midfielder Evan Stone ’07 sent a cross from the corner into a penalty box packed with Elis. But none of the Yale players were able to get a piece of the ball as it dribbled harmlessly out of bounds.
Shortly thereafter, midfielder Shannon Brooks ’06 created a second opportunity to tie the score. He hit a through ball from the right corner and forward Lindsey Williams ’05 trapped it in front of the goal. Williams hit a low, hard shot toward the center of the goal, but BC goalkeeper Issey Maholo, grabbed the save.
“We got a great save when it was 1-0,” Boston College head coach Ed Kelly said. “If it had been a goal, it would have been a different game.”
Yale’s inability to capitalize on any of their early scoring chances helped swing the game in favor of the Eagles.
“That was the difference between [Boston College] and us,” Raybould said. “They capitalized on our mistakes, and we didn’t capitalize on theirs.”
With 18 minutes left in the game, Yale head coach Brian Tompkins decided to exchange Dwayne Whylly ’08 for Hollington in goal.
“We felt that Geoff wasn’t playing confidently,” Tompkins said. “On the first goal, it looked like he misjudged it, and we wanted to give [Whylly] a chance.”
As the game approached the 10 minute mark, the Elis grew increasingly desperate to score. Boston College made several attempts to stall, taking excessive amounts of time to prepare for throw-ins and corner kicks. In frustration, Williams slide tackled a BC midfielder from behind, earning Yale’s second yellow card of the game. The first was given to Stone at 53:23.
After receiving their second card, the Elis lost control of the game as BC proceeded to score two goals in three minutes. The Eagles were awarded a corner kick with 6:02 left to play. Midfielder Jarryd Goldberg took the kick and delivered a perfect assist to defender Pat Haggerty, who headed the ball into the upper right corner of the goal. On their next possession, the Eagles again attacked the Yale goal. In a struggle in front of the goal, Stone accidentally knocked the ball into the net, giving BC their third and final tally of the game.
Despite a disappointing final score, the Bulldogs were content with their performance.
“I think today that we played some of our best soccer of the season,” Tompkins said. “I think the score doesn’t really reflect how even the game was.”