The many fans at the men’s soccer game on Saturday may not have been treated to picture-perfect soccer, but they did see an intensely fought game and a solid Ivy League win for the Bulldogs.
Yale (5-1-2, 1-1-1 Ivy) managed to hang on to their 1-0 lead against Dartmouth (2-4, 0-2 Ivy) at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium on Saturday despite a sloppy second half.
“Not every game is a Picasso,” head coach Brian Tompkins said. “Sometimes you have to fingerpaint.”
Stu Yingst ’03, who tallied two goals on Wednesday against Quinnipiac, recorded his third goal of the season two minutes into the second half. Bennett Clark ’03 was credited for the assist.
“I thought [the game] was pretty ugly, but it feels good to beat them after the last two years,” Yingst said. Dartmouth stymied Yale with narrow victories the past two years.
Tompkins echoed Yingst’s comments.
“I was glad to break that trend and get the monkey off my back,” he said.
Yingst’s goal came after a scoreless first half in which both teams had legitimate scoring chances. Yale forwards Andrew Dealy ’05, Lindsey Williams ’05 and Justin Burton ’04 set up in front of the Dartmouth goal several times, but goalie Ben Gebre-Medhin came up with several saves.
On the other end, Dartmouth used several fast-break opportunities to get shots on net. The Big Green’s best chance to score came when goalie Russ Stroud ’04 got tangled up, resulting in an open net. Captain Brian Lavin ’02 kicked the ball away from the goal line, however, and the game remained 0-0.
Yingst’s goal in the 47th minute demoralized the Big Green at the start of the second half.
“We played a very even game, and we thought losing the goal was very frustrating because we’d played well,” Dartmouth coach Jeff Cook said. “From there, I thought our guys battled hard.”
Indeed, much of the second half was spent in front of Yale’s goal, and the Big Green outshot the Elis 12-7.
“We were trying to settle the ball and get some composure,” Yingst said. “All they do is try to put us under a lot of pressure.”
Near the end of the game, Dartmouth had a flurry of corner kicks and scoring chances, but could not net the tying goal. Strong play by Yale defenders Colin Stirrat ’03, Jon Skalecki ’05, Brian Roberts ’04 and Lavin helped keep Dartmouth off the scoreboard. In addition, Stroud finished the game with five saves.
“It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it,” said Lavin.
The coaches from both sides had positive things to say about Yale.
“I praised the guys for their resilience and attention to finding a way to win,” said Tompkins.
Cook noted that Yale has the talent to stay in the race for the Ivy League title.
“I think they can do well — the Ivy will be close throughout the season, but they’re an excellent team who plays well together, and they’ll be right there.”
Before they can think about that, however, the Elis have another obstacle coming their way. On Wednesday, they will face Fairfield University, currently ranked 14th in the nation. According to Tompkins, they may well be in the top 10 by Wednesday.
Yale bested both the University of Rhode Island and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, both nationally ranked teams, on the way to being ranked 22nd earlier this year.
“We relish the challenge and opportunity to play good teams,” Tompkins said.
And with only one loss in their eight games, the Elis are quickly establishing themselves as a good team of their own.
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