After upset victories over two nationally ranked teams in the past week, the Yale men’s soccer team was awarded with a No. 22 ranking of their own.
Despite goals from Andrew Dealy ’05 — Yale’s own No. 22 — and Lindsey Williams ’05, the Bulldogs could not return to last week’s form and settled for a 2-2 tie yesterday against in-state rival Hartford (4-1-1.)
In a game that saw the Bulldogs rally from an early deficit only to blow the lead they had gained, neither team was able to break the tie that stood for nearly 35 minutes of regulation and throughout both overtime periods.
“We were knocking on the door, but we just couldn’t put anything away,” Williams said.
The game was rife with exchanged words and behind-the-play fouls, and when Hartford’s Mike Santangelo was ejected with 2:10 remaining in the game for pulling down a streaking Brian Roberts ’04, it seemed that the game would end in Yale’s favor.
Despite a flurry of chances in front of the net in the last minute of regulation by Dealy, Justin Burton ’04 and Brian Larkin ’02, Yale could not regain the lead, forcing the game into overtime. The Elis continued to press on offense, but were stopped by Hartford goalie Christopher Doyle, who finished the game with 10 regulation and five overtime saves.
“Like coach [Brian Tompkins] said, it almost looked like they had the man up and not us, because we were scrambling and making mistakes,” Williams said.
Hawks coach Jim Evans was happy with the way his team handled their man-down situation.
“We probably played our best after we were down a man,” Evans said, laughing. “I’m very pleased with that.”
The Hawks, too, had several scoring opportunities during the end of the game and the two overtime periods, and fought hard for the tie.
“The game was pretty even, and I think both teams deserved to tie,” said Burton, who was credited with both assists. “We both had chances to win, but this is what happens sometimes.”
Tompkins felt that the tie was a disappointment.
“I have mixed emotions when you tie a game you feel you need to win,” he said. “We had our chances, but we couldn’t summon up whatever was needed today.”
The Hawks, who entered the game with a 4-1 record that included an upset victory over Boston College, struck early when Asaf Lubezky scored off a cross from Alex Carvalho at 7:50.
After several strong offensive chances in the first half, the Bulldogs evened the score in the 22nd minute. Dealy received a ball from Burton, played it off his chest around the Hawk defender and chipped it into the Hartford goal.
“I saw Deals there with only one guy by him, so I sent the ball in and he did a great job of finishing on the pass,” Burton said.
The teams went into the second half with a 1-1 tie, but it was Yale’s turn to strike first. Williams expertly headed another Burton pass low and inside the right post, giving his team a 2-1 lead.
“That was a combo play, and I saw the ball go wide to [Burton], so I went up in the air and went after the ball,” Williams said. “I was fortunate that it went in.”
Dealy and Williams have scored three goals apiece in their rookie seasons.
The lead did not last long, however, and Hartford’s Guy Primor’s free kick turned into an assist when it was headed past Yale goalie Russ Stroud ’04 by Alon Lubezky. Stroud finished the day with seven saves.
That would be the final goal of the game, but the intensity did not wane. With two minutes remaining in the game, Roberts, the Yale-Fila Classic MVP, was tripped up while on a break-away. The result was a large brawl at midfield where emotions ran high.
“It was pretty physical out there, and a lot of words were exchanged,” said Burton of the melee. “[Roberts] is a good friend, so when he went down we all got mad. Our goalie even came running out. There were a lot of cheap shots in there.”
After the past week’s physical play, Tompkins attributed some of the team’s mistakes to fatigue.
“To be honest, the guys are really tired,” he said. “We’ve had three tough games in six days, and it showed mentally in their decision-making. But we’re going to be facing much tougher teams than this, so it’s a good lesson.”
The Bulldogs will have to learn from today’s game, as they have their second Ivy contest on Saturday against Cornell at 7:00 p.m.
“We’re 0-1 Ivy, so we need to win. You only get to play each Ivy team once, and you can’t get down 0-2,” Burton said. “They’re a quality opponent and we need to regain our focus and work hard in the next two days of practice.”
Tompkins said the key for Saturday’s game is to start with defense.
“We need to make sure we defend well and don’t let up any silly goals,” he said. “We need to do a better job keeping possession. We’ll continue to work this week.”
Meanwhile, the Hartford coach was optimistic about Yale’s upcoming season.
“They’re a great team, and to come away with a tie against them — I feel like we won,” Evans said. “They always keep battling, and there’s no doubt in my mind they can win the Ivy and make some noise in the tournament.”
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