MEN’S SOCCER | Bulldogs overcome early goal for draw

In the 69th minute of Saturday’s men’s soccer game, defender Nick Alers ’14 surprised the Columbia defense by dribbling the ball past the midfield line. He looked up to see midfielder Scott Armbrust ’14 streaking towards the top of Columbia’s penalty area. Alers threaded a pass through several Columbia players to Armbrust and chipped a shot over Lion goalkeeper Kyle Jackson to tie the score at one goal apiece.

Despite several scoring chances for both squads throughout the remainder of the game, the Bulldogs (4–7–4, 1–2–2 Ivy) and Lions (3–7–4, 1–2–2 Ivy) finished their match locked in a 1–1 draw after two periods of overtime play at Reese Stadium.

“I didn’t think that we were as engaged in the first half as we needed to be,” head coach Brian Tompkins said. “Our guys competed a lot better, we passed the ball better, we were a lot more dangerous in the second half.”

Tompkins added that this progression echoed the Bulldogs’ previous match, last week’s 2–1 victory against Penn. In that game, the Elis surrendered a 65th minute penalty kick goal before roaring back to win with tallies in the 70th and 88th minutes.

The Elis allowed the first goal of this weekend’s game as well. In the 14th minute, Columbia midfielder Henning Sauerbier separated himself from his defender deep in Yale’s defensive half and received a pass from midfielder Kyle Culbertson to the right of the Bulldog goal. After taking several touches to create more space, Sauerbier fired a low shot past diving goalkeeper and captain Bobby Thalman ’13.

“We’ve come out a little flat-footed in the first half this season and we’ve waited for them to score to give us a wake-up call,” Alers said, contrasting the Elis’ play in the two halves. “It was almost like night and day.”

Tompkins said Yale did not pass the ball well in the first half, which enabled the Lions to apply strong pressure to the Eli back line. Alers added that the Bulldogs struggled to retain possession of the ball and allowed the Lions to pass around them in the opening period.

With Armbrust’s 69th minute tally, Alers said that the Bulldogs gained more confidence. Armbrust’s strike represented his second game-tying goal in as many games — he also scored in the 70th minute of the Penn contest to knot the game at 1–1.

“Scott’s an experienced player now, and I think he’s a guy that relishes the big moments in games,” Tompkins said.

While the match concluded without any further scoring, both teams nearly found the back of the net again. In the 89th minute of regulation, Sauerbier dribbled the ball past a charging Thalman towards the left side of the Eli goal. With Thalman out of the net, Sauerbier appeared to have a clear shot at the goal despite the three Bulldog defenders in their penalty area. Yet defender Tyler Detorie ’16 managed to slide in front of Sauerbier’s shot to preserve the tie and send the game into extra time.

In the 108th minute of the contest, the Bulldogs created a dangerous opportunity in front of the Lions’ net. Forward Jenner Fox ’14 lofted a ball into the Columbia penalty area to the chest of midfielder Kevin Michalak ’15, who received the ball with Jackson’s back to him. Michalak, however, was unable to corral the ball for a shot, and the game ended in a draw.

The Bulldogs will face unbeaten Brown this Saturday in Providence.

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