Ivy League season starts this Saturday for men’s soccer as Harvard (2–5–1) will visit the Bulldogs for a 7 p.m. night game under the lights of Reese Stadium for Alumni Day. Yale (4–4–1) has lost the last five meetings in the series including last season, when the Crimson eked out a 1–0 victory against the Elis in Cambridge.
This year the Bulldogs expect a win as Harvard’s offense has been cold tis season. The Cantabs lost to Boston University on Wednesday, 2–1, right after going 0–1–1 on a West Coast series against Santa Clara and Stanford. Prior to the game against the Eagles, the Crimson were scoreless for three straight games.
Yale is coming off a tough 0–1 loss to No.1 UConn in the last minute of double overtime, just one game after earning its first road win at URI.
“It was an exhausting weekend,” captain Chris Dennen ’12 said. “I think guys are physically tired, but we’re ready for Ivy season right now … we’ll be ready for Harvard.”
Peter Jacobson ’14 was named to the Ivy League honor roll Monday for scoring two goals against Rhode Island. Brad Rose ’12 is the de facto leader of the Yale attack, as he’s tied for second in the Ivy League point total with three goals and five assists.
The Crimson have only scored four goals all season, while the Bulldogs have 16. If the game turns into a shootout, it will favor Yale, as the team has yet to lose after scoring in a match.
Harvard has also yet to settle on a consistent starting goalkeeper this season. Crimson goalkeepers Austin Harms and Brett Conrad are ranked sixth and 10th in the Ivy League in total saves. Yale goalie Bobby Thalman ’13 is first with 49 saves.
This will be the first of a three game home stretch for the Bulldogs. Each meeting will be critical as there are only seven games in Ivy League play. Yale will face its toughest opponent — Penn — on the road on Oct. 22. The Quakers have won three games in a row, scoring the most goals in the Ivies and allowing the second fewest goals. Penn received two votes to be admitted into the top 25 on Monday.
“These road experiences will only help us,” head coach Brian Tompkins said, referring to the team’s tough losses against Lehigh, No.15 St. John’s and No.1 UConn. “We’ve proved we can go on the road and play a good team.”
Kickoff against the Crimson is scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m.