Despite holding a 1–1 tie at halftime with the No. 17 Brown Bears (11–2–3, 3–2–1 Ivy), the men’s soccer team (3–11–2, 1–4–1) couldn’t withstand a full 90 minutes of play and allowed three second half goals, falling 4–1 in its final road game of the season.
The third place Bears seemed manageable for the Elis at the start of the match at Stevenson Field. The Bulldogs got on the board early when forward Peter Jacobson ’14 notched his second goal of the season at 9:10. The freshman placed a header into the back of the net off of a feed from defender Milan Tica ’13 to give the Elis a 1–0 edge.
“This was really a game of two halves,” goalie Bobby Thalman ’13 said. “During the first half we played to our abilities and were able to gain a lead over one of the best teams in the country.”
Despite Yale’s ability to keep the Bears under control for the majority of the first half, it was the home team who hit the net next. With less than five minutes remaining in the half, Brown’s T.J. Popolizio connected with a Jay Hayward throw-in to get the game’s second header goal and even the score at 1–1.
“Our first goal, along with the first 40 minutes of play, really displayed our offensive ability,” Thalman said. “However, once Brown scored there was a noticeable momentum swing which seemed to throw us off our game.”
The Bears rode this momentum for the entirety of the second half, peppering Thalman with shots as they recorded fourteen, compared to the Bulldogs one during the half. The sophomore was able to protect his net for thirteen minutes before Brown gained a 2–1 lead at 58:36 with Evan Coleman’s goal.
“We came out really well in the first 30 minutes, we moved the ball and played with good intensity,” midfielder Andy Hackbarth ’12 said. “But then our team sagged off and let them get comfortable. We have to focus on moving the ball quickly and getting into spaces where it will be easier for us to play.”
Less than ten minutes later, junior forward Sean Rosa scored the third goal for the home team. Kevin Gavey’s tally secured the win with just under three minutes remaining.
Thalman recorded six saves on the day as Brown goalie Paul Grandstrand needed only one for the win.
“Our team put together a strong 45 minutes,” Jacobson said. “We were able to move the ball around and create some scoring opportunities. For the Princeton game, we are going to work on staying competitive for 90 minutes.”
The Bulldogs return home for their final game of the season when they face Princeton on Saturday at Reese Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m.