The men’s soccer team have a tough schedule ahead of them this weekend against two local rivals, Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart. The team is looking to end its goal drought and capture its first wins of the season.
“It is not necessarily a matter of what kind of teams we play. It is a matter of how we play,” captain and goalkeeper Bobby Thalman ’13 said.
He added that the team should play both with respect and correct mentality.
In last year’s matchup against the Bobcats, the Bulldogs (0–3–1) took down the visitors 3–2 at Reese Stadium.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Thalman said.
In that game, Yale trailed the visitors and was held scoreless in the first half. However, the Bulldogs came back strong in the second half and reversed the flow of the game. Forwards Jenner Fox ’14, Peter Jacobson ’14 and Charlie Neil ’12 scored a goal apiece. Defensively, Thalman made two important saves.
“Due to location, Quinnipiac is always a good rivalry,” Thalman said. “They are a high-energy team, and we have to match with our energy and enthusiasm.”
Despite the absence of Neil and forward Max Morice ’15, who signed to play for Stade Rennes in France, the Bulldogs still have strong forwards like Jacobson and Max McKiernan ’14, who recorded crucial attacking points in the last four matches. On the Bobcats’ side, one player to watch is forward Philip Surprise. He is the lead scorer for his team, with four goals to his credit so far this season. Forward William Daniels is also another player to note, as he closely trails Surprise in the number of goals scored for the Bobcats.
On Sunday, Yale will host another regional rival, Sacred Heart, to its home turf.
In last season’s clash, both teams took only a point apiece after a very long battle that forced them to go into double overtime. The Elis failed to maintain the first half lead given by Jacobson and allowed the Pioneers’ Omer Levy to level the scoreboard, which eventually led to an extra 20 minutes of playing time.
“They are a very skillful team,” Thalman said.
Marcello Castro and Mahmoud Kafel are the key players to mark from Sacred Heart. They each have scored two goals apiece so far this season.
Thlaman said that the exit of Sacred Heart’s goalkeeper, Alex Fait, is a big help to Yale as he gave a strong performance last year. Yale outdid the Pioneers in shots (14–12) whereas Fait blocked two more shots than Thalman (8–6).
“If we do as well as we do during practices, there is nothing we cannot handle,” Thalman said.
The team will only have a day to rest between the two matches, with a regeneration session in the pool and spin in the Payne Whitney Gymnasium on Saturday.
“We have a long season to go and as we become more experienced, we get more used to the schedule,” Thalman said.
The match against Quinnipiac starts at 4 p.m. today. The Bulldogs will take on the Pioneers on Sunday at 1 p.m. at home.