MEN’S SOCCER | Elis drop third straight

Depite holding Lehigh scoreless for the first 87 minutes of the game, the Bulldogs fell to the Mountain Hawks 1–0.
Depite holding Lehigh scoreless for the first 87 minutes of the game, the Bulldogs fell to the Mountain Hawks 1–0. Photo by Graham Harboe.

Yale was unable to find the back of the net for the fifth straight game. Despite a number of chances and home turf advantage, Lehigh’s goal at 87:50 sealed the game 1–0 and handed the Elis their third straight loss.

Coming off a 3–0 loss at Cornell on Saturday, the men’s soccer team (3–7–3, Ivy 0–2–1) looked to rebound against the Mountain Hawks (3–10–1, Patriot 1–3–0) last night in their first game at home in three weeks.

The first 35 minutes of the first half featured little in the way of action, as neither team appeared able to establish consistent possession or put together significant scoring chances.

However at 34:54, Lehigh’s Ben Wysocki lofted a corner into the box and Michael Manta headed the ball on goal. Making his first start of the season, goalkeeper Blake Brown ’15 saved the initial shot and James Meyerkord’s shot off the rebound went wide. Lehigh was not done attacking, however, mustering three more dangerous shots during the last 10 minutes. The Mountain Hawks were unable to capitalize as the Bulldogs escaped the half with the score still knotted at 0–0.

“Lehigh had the better of [us] at the end of the first half,” head coach Brian Tompkins said. “But then I thought we came back and did well in the second half.”

The second half was characterized by much more wide-open play. Lehigh began the half as it ended in the first. Five minutes into the period, the Mountain Hawks drew a free kick that the referee placed directly on the 18-yard box on the right of the goal. Wysocki’s shot off the free kick, however, went wide.

The Bulldogs provided a moment of excitement in the 57th minute, as midfielder Scott Armbrust ’14 headed the ball in the box to forward Peter Jacobson ’14. Jacobson flicked the ball over the hands of Lehigh goalkeeper Ciaran Nugent, appearing to register the first Eli goal in their past four contests. Yet as the Bulldogs began to celebrate, the referee called Jacobson offside and waved off the tally.

“It was frustrating because it shows we are capable of scoring nice goals like that,” captain and goalkeeper Bobby Thalman ’13 said.

But the Bulldogs were able to continue to apply pressure. The Elis again nearly broke through at 63:52, when forward Avery Schwartz ’16 ran by his defender on the right side of the goal before firing a shot over the crossbar. Schwartz continued to generate opportunities with his speed. He drew a corner in the 71st minute with another charge up the right side and fired a shot over the crossbar from 20 yards out in the game’s last 10 minutes.

Both teams accrued several other opportunities, but the game appeared headed to overtime before Meyerkord received the ball in the 88th minute. He fired a shot from distance that skidded along the ground and past the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Sam Obletz ’14, who had replaced Brown to start the second half. Jacobson tried to answer seconds later, but his shot went over the crossbar and the game ended in a loss for the Elis.

Forward Peter Ambiel ’15 said the game was indicative of the team’s season. “We’re not finishing our chances and the worse team is winning,” he said. “Even though our record doesn’t show, we know that we’re good and that we’re better than the teams, but they just find a way to score and we just haven’t found that yet,” he added.

The Bulldogs will play their first home Ivy League game of the season this weekend against Penn at the Reese Stadium.

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