The men’s soccer team traveled to Providence over the weekend with hopes of getting in the win column after two losses to begin the season. Instead, they couldn’t get on the board in either contest and added two more defeats to their tally, both 1–0, at the hands of Hofstra (2–2–1) on Friday and South Carolina (3–2) on Sunday.
The Bulldogs now have two goals through four games this season.
“We need to finish out chances,” defender Chris Dennen ’12 said. “You can’t win a game without putting the ball in the net. We need to reward our hard work with goals.”
Aside from an identical outcome, the feel of the two games were not the same for the Elis.
On Friday, both sides had scoring opportunities, including two very close ones for the Bulldogs, but neither team could capitalize and take the lead.
After a fairly back and forth first half, the Bulldogs had an opportunity to get on the board about half way through the second half when defender Milan Tica ’13 fired a shot off the post.
Minutes later, the Pride made the Elis pay for their missed opportunities when Hofstra’s Chris Griebsch fired an unassisted shot past goalie Bobby Thalman ’13 in the 60th minute for the game’s only goal.
Thalman recorded four saves (on the day) but couldn’t get to Griebsch’s lower right-hand corner shot. The Bulldogs kept fighting in the end of the second half with a couple of chances but came up short as the Pride outshot the Elis 19–11.
After having Saturday off, the Bulldogs returned to Stevenson Field to take on the Southeastern Conference’s Gamecocks at noon Sunday.
In contrast to Friday night, the Elis, which played without last season’s leading scorers Brad Rose ’11 and Scott Armbrust ’13, seemed to control the tempo of the game in the first half.
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“We played well,” Yale head coach Brian Tompkins told Yale Athletics. “We knew it would be hard. South Carolina is very athletic, but I thought we matched them really well. It was perhaps our best soccer of the seasons so far.”
Captain and midfielder Andy Shorten ’11 created the game’s first scoring opportunity in the 22nd minute when he dribbled up the left side past multiple Gamecock defenders and struck a cross into the box. But the Elis couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity as no one could connect with Shorten’s cross in the front of the net.
The second half was a different story for the Bulldogs. South Carolina dominated play, firing off 12 shots and scoring in the 56th minute when Bradlee Baladez put home a rebound in the lower left corner.
The Elis were not short on chances throughout the game, they had 11 total shots to South Carolina’s 19, but once again they couldn’t break through on the scoreboard.
Despite the loss, the Bulldogs thought Sunday’s effort was where it needed to be against one of the nation’s premier programs in South Carolina.
“While both games were 1–0 losses, today we competed a lot harder,” Dennen said. “We are disappointed with both results but today we came to play — whereas Friday we were not as competitive.”
Yale will seek its first victory of 2010 Wednesday night at Reese Stadium where they will host Central Connecticut State (1–2) at 7 p.m.