MEN’S SOCCER | Elis look to end slump

The Elis will play against the Quakers at home Saturday and will attempt to end their losing streak.
The Elis will play against the Quakers at home Saturday and will attempt to end their losing streak. Photo by Graham Harboe.

Playing in its first home Ivy League game of the season, the men’s soccer team will look to snap a five-game winless streak against Penn this Saturday.

It has been almost a month since the Elis (3–7–3, 0–2–1 Ivy) added a notch in the win column. Before their 2–1 victory at Marist on Sept. 23, the Bulldogs’ record hovered at .500. Yet the Elis lost to No. 4 Connecticut two days later, a loss that began the streak that has dropped the Elis four games under .500.

“It’s a tough time when you’re not getting wins, especially when we feel like we’re close in the majority of these games,” captain and goalkeeper Bobby Thalman ’13 said.

Thalman added that despite the winless streak, the team was never dominated by any of the opponents.

After the competitive 2–0 loss against the Huskies, the only game that has been decided by more than a goal came in last Saturday’s 3–0 loss at Cornell. Even in that game, the Big Red scored all three of their goals in the second half.

The Bulldogs will hope to continue this competitive attitude during Saturday’s game at Reese Stadium. Entering this weekend’s match, the Quakers (2–10–0, 0–3–0 Ivy) sport the worst Ivy League record. Penn comes into this weekend’s game with a four-match losing streak.

Yale’s last matchup against Penn was one of the most exciting games on the team’s schedule last year. After a scoreless first half, the Bulldogs scored early in the second half. Penn responded with less than eight minutes remaining to send the game into extra time. It was in the 105th minute that forward Charlie Paris ’12 scored his third goal of the season and secured the thrilling victory for the Elis.

“That’s probably actually one of the more exciting, fun games I’ve played in in my whole soccer career,” defender Nick Alers ’14 said.

Alers added that Penn utilizes a style of play that focuses on keeping possession of the ball, which will allow the Bulldogs to employ a passing style this weekend as well.

During the team’s winless streak, the Bulldogs have been held scoreless. In fact, the Elis have tallied only one goal in their past seven games, dating back to a 0–0 tie against Fordham on Sept. 21.

The team nearly ended the drought in Tuesday’s 1–0 loss against Lehigh. The squad created a number of chances, including a headed shot by forward Peter Jacobson ’14 that was called offside after finding the back of the net. Jacobson leads the team in shots with 23.

In order to capture their first Ivy win this Saturday, the Bulldogs will have to execute on these chances.

“The big thing is I’m going to try and make sure the guys stay composed and don’t get too caught up with the current record or current results,” Thalman said. “Go out there and have fun and I think the goals will come back.”

The game will kickoff this Saturday at 3 p.m at Reese Stadium.

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