The men’s soccer team made offensive progress Friday night at Reese Stadium with a number of close scoring opportunities, but the Bulldogs were unable to capitalize in a 1–0 loss to Fairleigh Dickinson.
Despite being outshot by the Bulldogs (1–6–1) by a margin of 14–9, the Knights (3–3) took advantage of one of their few opportunities late in the second half when they scored to pull off the win against the Elis. The first half was similar to much of what the Elis have experienced so far this season: 45 minutes of steady, but scoreless soccer. The Bulldog defense continued to hold strong as it succeeded in keeping the Knights scoreless in the first half while allowing five shots on goal.
“I feel very confident in the defense,” goalie Bobby Thalman ’13 said. “They have constantly improved, which makes my job a lot easier.”
The Elis showed composure in back, which led to a handful of promising opportunities in the attack. One of Yale’s best chances came at the beginning of the match off a free kick. Captain and midfielder Andy Shorten ’11 blasted a shot from just outside the box, but Knight goalie Jacob Lissek got his hands on it to knock it away. Shorten was able to follow up and get his own rebound but was once against denied by Lissek.
The home team came dangerously close once again with just four minutes remaining in the first half. Midfielder Eric Meyer ’11 capitalized on good positioning to place a shot into the corner of the net, but Lissek showed up once again and blocked the ball at the very last second, causing the two teams to head into halftime empty-handed.
“I feel like our offense has gotten better over the past couple games, we just haven’t had the results to illustrate it,” midfielder Andy Hackbarth ’12 said. “We haven’t been rewarding our hard work and determination. We have some lapses at crucial times in the attacking third, which has really let us down.”
The Elis continued to create opportunities in the second half, but it was the away team that found the back of the net. With less than 20 minutes left, FDU’s Kyle Saviano found teammate Dominic Reinold open on a long throw, and Reinold settled the ball before knocking it past Thalman.
“I thought our defense was very good at limiting their chances and scoring opportunities,” Shorten said. “It was just unfortunate that they capitalized on our one mental lapse in the defensive end.”
But the goal did not sink the Elis’ spirits completely, as they continued to put pressure on FDU’s defense. The Bulldogs had one last hopeful chance when forward Cody Wilkins ’14 connected with forward Scott Armbrust’s ’13 corner kick, but the freshman headed the ball into Lissek’s hands.
This is the fifth game this season in which Yale has been held scoreless, and the fourth contest the Bulldogs have lost by just one goal.
The team will host St. Johns on Tuesday at Reese Stadium for an 8 p.m. matchup in the Bulldogs’ last game before the start of Ivy League play.