The men’s soccer team found its rhythm this weekend with a 4–1 win over St. Francis (N.Y.).
In previous games this season, Yale had struggled with lagging intensity in the first half. But, based on Saturday night’s performance, you would never know it.
“We were very opportunistic,” head coach Brian Tompkins said. “We scored off of our first two shots, which is pretty rare in a game circumstance. It was a scrappy game for both teams. For the most part, play was fairly even after we got our first three goals. We didn’t necessarily dominate the game, we dominated the scoreboard.”
Forward Scott Armburst ’13 added, “We were wired to play. Coming off of a win motivated us to keep on winning.”
The Elis (2–1–2) burst into the first half by scoring on their first two attempts on goal. Armburst made the Elis’ first and second goals less than three minutes apart. The first shot was assisted by fellow freshman, defender Milan Tica ’13, whose long pass into the box set up Armburst’s successful kick to the right corner. For their second goal, forward Brad Rose ’11 crossed the ball to Armburst who easily tapped the ball past the St. Francis (2–3–0) goalkeeper.
“We had good movement up top,” Armburst said. “Brad was moving really well, and we were playing off of each other. Brad and I created space and honestly, I think the defense was a little confused by it.”
Tompkins added, “Scott’s shown already this season that he’s a quality attacking player. [Saturday] he showed just how good he could be with a little bit of time and space and just how deadly he can be in the penalty area.”
Midfielder Jon Carlos ’10 scored the Elis’ third goal, with some help from Rose. Carlos’ initial attempt was deflected, but thanks to some quick thinking, he sent the rebounded ball sailing into the back of the net.
“[Carlos] is really, very fast” midfielder and captain Jordan Raybould ’10 said. “Once he gets a step on you, you’re probably not going to catch him.”
Barely 18 minutes into the first half and the Bulldogs were already leading 3–0. The Terriers scored their lone goal of the game at 24:28 minutes.
In the second half, the Elis were committed to maintaining their lead and concentrated mainly on defense.
“The key was maintain the lead until the final whistle, until we win,” Raybould said. “Getting those early goals changed the complexity of the game entirely. We didn’t have to chase the other team to get the lead.”
Goalkeeper Travis Chulick ’10 made a total of three saves. At one point, a Terrier forward sent Chulick diving to deflect a shot to the left corner of the goal late in the second half.
After assisting two of Yale’s three goals, Rose scored one of his own at 86:54. Defender Marcus DiLallo ’12 kicked a ball long toward the opposing goal. Rose took advantage of the St. Francis goalkeeper’s momentary loss of control and sent the ball to the back of the net.
“Brad was performing like he’s always capable of,” said Raybould. “He get’s into good spots and is able to put other people into good spots. Everything was just clicking for him and he was dangerous the whole time.”
Tompkins added, “Brad’s a guy with great goal-scoring ability. He’s just starting to come into his own. He’s blossoming now.”
On Tuesday, the Bulldogs will take on Rhode Island, which fell 5–0 to Brown on Saturday night.
“It’s important not to read too much into [Rhode Island’s] result last night,” Tompkins said. “I think it was aberration. They’re well-coached with good players. They’ll be coming here looking to make amends for their last game.”
The Elis are going for three in a row when they take on Rhode Island at 7:30 p.m. at Reese Stadium.