Sitting in a three-way tie for fifth place in the Ivy League with three games remaining, the men’s soccer team is all but mathematically eliminated from Ivy League title contention. But that doesn’t mean the Bulldogs don’t have any fight left.
The Elis (3–10–1, 1–3 Ivy) have won two of their last three contests, and will look to win their second straight Saturday afternoon when they host Columbia (5–7–1, 1–3) at Reese Stadium. The Bulldogs won the teams’ meeting last year, 4–2.
“Obviously we want to go out and win and get a nice little streak going,” midfielder Andy Hackbarth ’12 said. “We want to keep our defense tight like we have the last couple of games and make sure we are moving the ball well. We need to work on attacking, we need to be aggressive and play hard the whole 90 minutes.”
The Bulldogs are fresh off a 1–0 victory over Patriot League opponent Lehigh Wednesday night. Playing without starting goalkeeper Bobby Thalman ’13, all the Elis needed was a header from Cody Wilkins ’14 in the 37th minute to earn the win. The header was Wilkins’s first collegiate goal.
At the other end, the Bulldogs didn’t miss a beat despite Thalman’s absence. Backup goalie Matt Chesky ’12 saw nine Mountain Hawks shots and didn’t allow one by him for the clean sheet. Thalman was suspended from the contest after receiving a red card in Yale’s 2–0 loss against first-place Penn last Saturday.
“Basically, I thought the way we battled well, for the whole 90 minutes,” Hackbarth said of the win over Lehigh. “We really put together a great performance for the entire time. Everyone should be happy with that.”
Although the single goal was enough on Wednesday, a lack of offensive production has plagued the Bulldogs all season. The Elis are last in the Ivy League in scoring with eight goals this season — six less than Harvard, which has the second-lowest goal total in the conference.
On the other hand, Columbia has tallied 17 goals in one less game this season. Both teams have allowed an Ivy League-worst 20 goals.
The Lions are coming off a win of their own after defeating Dartmouth 2-1 last Saturday to record their first league win of the season.
Forward Henning Sauerbier leads Columbia with ten points (four goals and two assists).
“They are going to be a tough team,” Hackbarth said. “They have the tools to basically beat anyone in the Ivies so we have to come out and treat them like they are any other team and play hard against them.”
The contest is slated to start at 4:30 p.m.