M. SOCCER | Fairfield and URI up ahead for Yale

The men’s soccer team is 3–0 at home this season and will host Fairfield tonight.
The men’s soccer team is 3–0 at home this season and will host Fairfield tonight. Photo by Maria Zepeda.

After a 7–0 steamrolling of Marist last Sunday, the men’s soccer team will look to keep up the speed when it faces Fairfield University tonight at Reese Stadium.

Still, head coach Brian Tompkins said it would be unrealistic to expect a replication of Sunday’s performance, calling the numbers against Marist a “statistical anomaly.” Yale’s scoring percentage was more than double its previous highest-scoring game; Marist, which outshot the Bulldogs 22–18, only got five of those shots on goal.

Based on their records — Yale is 3–2–1 and Fairfield is 0–4–0 — a win would appear well within the Bulldogs’ reach. Last year Yale lost to Fairfield in double overtime, as the Stags scored the game-winner with less than nine minutes left.

“Fairfield’s been a little bit of a nemesis of ours the last few years,” Tompkins said. Revenge has been a common refrain for this team, as the 15 returning players look to bounce back from last year’s 3–12–2 record, and are rematching against many familiar opponents. So far, with only three games left in nonconference play, they’ve only been partially successful.

Although they sport a solid 3–0 home record, the Bulldogs are 0–2–1 away from home. The team has scored only one goal over three games on the road.

But those numbers are skewed, as the team played two very talented squads at Lehigh and St. John’s.

This Sunday Yale can take advantage of a vulnerable Rhode Island team that has dropped two of its three home games so far.

Part of Yale’s advantage may be its inconsistency — not in goal scoring, but in who’s scoring. Eight different players have scored goals for Yale so far this year, and 15 players have been able to find time in all six games. Tompkins said that getting so many players in-game experience has been important to their success.

“It’s all about competitiveness, trying to develop a competitive edge in all our players,” Tompkins said. The coach explained they achieve this with situational drills, and limiting the time and space that players have to work with.

He said this approach has worked, as different players have stepped up in different games. On Sunday that player was Brad Rose ’12, who was named Co-Ivy League Player of the Week for scoring two goals and two assists. It was the second time he has received the honor, after scoring both goals in a 2–1 victory over Columbia in 2009 and recovering from injury in 2010.

Jenner Fox ’14 may be the most consistently impressive player on the team so far. Fox leads the team with three goals and three assists, and a .375 shooting percentage.

The Rams are also on a two-game winning streak, and get Yale in the middle of a six-game home series. The last meeting between both teams was in 2009, when Yale lost by one goal in overtime.

Looking for some payback tonight under the home lights of Reese Stadium, the Bulldogs kick off against Fairfield at 7 p.m., and at 1 p.m. this Sunday at URI.

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