MEN’S SOCCER: Elis secure draw on the road

Midfielder Conner Lachenbruch ’15 (No. 8) opened the scoring against Columbia on Saturday, poking in a loose ball off a corner kick at 28:44.
Midfielder Conner Lachenbruch ’15 (No. 8) opened the scoring against Columbia on Saturday, poking in a loose ball off a corner kick at 28:44. Photo by Maria Zepeda.

Despite twice leading by two goals, the men’s soccer team had to settle for a 3–3 draw with Columbia in New York on Saturday.

Though the Bulldogs (4–9–2, 2–1–2 Ivy) stunned Columbia (7–3–2, 1–1–3 Ivy) with two first half goals just a minute apart, the Lions scored two goals in three minutes late in the game to come back and tie on their home turf.

“Columbia is a very good team, one of the best we have played all year,” forward Avery Schwartz ’16 said. “Playing them away and getting a point was a good result, but with the way the game unfolded we definitely felt like we missed an opportunity.”

The Lions are undefeated at home this season, posting a record of 4–0–2 in those matches, and started the game with two shots and two corner kick opportunities within the first four minutes.

The home side, however, suffered a setback 29 minutes into the game when Yale midfielder Conner Lachenbruch ’15 scored off a corner kick, tapping the ball in after a scrum in front. Just a minute later, Columbia was stunned when Henos Musie ’16 tucked home a cross from winger Cody Wilkins ’14 off of a break opportunity.

The whistle for halftime blew with the Bulldogs holding a big 2–0 lead.

“Columbia came with a lot of pressure right from the whistle, and we struggled a bit to keep possession at the beginning, so it was a little surprising scoring two quick goals like that,” forward Keith Bond ’16 said in a message to the News. “Give credit to our guys for holding off the pressure and staying composed.”

The Lions regrouped after halftime, coming out with a strong start in the second half. Yale goalkeeper Blake Brown ’15 was forced into making a stop just four minutes into the second period.

Columbia’s renewed effort paid off in the 50th minute, when defender Jack Gagne was the first to pounce on a rebound and poked in Columbia’s first goal of the game.

The Bulldogs struck back in the 71st minute when Musie scored a free kick goal from 30 yards out. This goal marked the Swede’s second after recovering from the injury that forced him to sit out the last four games.

“It was great having him back in the lineup,” Schwartz said. “He gave us some extra creativity and scored two goals which was huge for us.”

The goal put the Elis in the driving seat with less than 20 minutes to go, but Columbia replied in the 82nd minute. Andrew Tinari scored his fourth of the season with a hit from 20 yards to cut the lead in half.

The Lions seemed to carry the momentum for that goal. Just over three minutes later, Nicholas Pappacena finished off a series of quick passes with an effort from 10 yards out to tie the game at 3–3.

Columbia outshot the Bulldogs 11–3 in the second half and forced Brown into four saves.

The Lions took their momentum into overtime where they had a further three shots, including an effort that hit the crossbar in the 103rd minute. Neither team could find a winning goal, and the game finished at 3–3.

“It was a pretty tough tie, as a win would have put us in a much better position,” Bond said. “But we’re still in it and all the guys still are confident. We have two more games left, and all we can do is go out and win those and hope the rest falls into place for us.”

The result drops the Elis into a tie with Brown for fourth place in the Ivy League with games against the Bears and second-placed Princeton remaining. The Elis will need help from other teams in order to make up the four-point gap on league-leading Harvard.

The Bulldogs play Brown in their final home game of the season this Saturday at 4:00 PM.

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