For over an hour on Saturday, the fifth place men’s soccer team found themsleves sticking with nationally ranked Penn. But a red card in the second half on goalie Bobby Thalman ’13 and the penalty kick that followed put the men’s soccer team (2–10–1, 1–3–0 Ivy) in a hole that it could not could get out of in the Bulldogs’ 2–0 loss against No. 15 Penn (11–2–0, 4–0–0) on Saturday night at Reese Stadium.
“We knew going into the game that it was going to be a challenge,” head coach Brian Tompkins said. “We got three quarters of the way through the game without conceding a goal and then the penalty changed everything. Up until that point I think we were doing fine.”
The red card was issued to Thalman in the 67th minute for an alleged intentional trip against a Quakers offensive player inside the box. Thalman was sent out of the game and Matt Chesky ’12 took over the job of net minder for the remainder. The Quakers took advantage of the penalty kick as Christian Barreiro hit it past Chesky’s left side to give Penn a 1–0 edge.
“It’s tough but that is what we train for,” Chesky said. “Bob and I push each other all the time to get better, so I was prepared. Coming onto the field I obviously didn’t have time to get ready but the shooter had a great penalty kick. I guessed correctly but just couldn’t get there.”
The visiting team added an insurance goal just 11 minutes later when Penn attacker Loukas Tasigianis received a pass from Barreiro in the left corner of the box and placed his shot past Chesky.
The Bulldogs played a man down for the last 22 minutes after the red card was given and were able to produce two scoring opportunities before Barreiro knocked in the second goal of the game.
“Against a team with their mobility and speed, it was too much for us once we went a man down,” Tompkins said.
The best scoring opportunity for the Elis came in the first half at the 26-minute mark. Midfielder Eric Meyer ’11 split the Quaker defense and released a shot from just 12 yards out that went just wide.
“We had some chances early and if we had taken advantage of those it would have been a different game,” defender Chris Dennen ’12 said. “We shouldn’t have waited around the whole game hoping that something would happen at the very end.”
Chesky, who had not previously played in any game so far this season, finished the match with three saves. Yale recorded five saves between Thalman and Chesky while Quaker goalie Ben Berg needed only one save to keep the Bulldogs away. The shutout marked the seventh for Berg so far this season and the fifth consecutive contest in which the Quakers have held their opponents scoreless.
“It’s not a question of ability for our guys, it’s a question of focus and concentration, so we will be looking to have a sharper performance on Wednesday,” Tompkins said.
Penn edged Yale 16–5 in shots on goal. The Bulldogs are back in action Wednesday night hosting Lehigh at 7 p.m. at Reese Stadium.