It was a loss that characterized everything that had gone wrong for the men’s soccer team lately.
Their Ivy League hopes already dashed, the Bulldogs (5-7-2, 1-4-1 Ivy) fell to Brown (5-7-2, 3-1-1) 1-0 Saturday.
“It was the same old story,” captain Brian Lavin ’02 said. “We gave up a bad goal and didn’t finish on the other end, and the result is our sixth straight loss.”
Head coach Brian Tompkins echoed Lavin’s frustration.
“I wish I knew why we couldn’t score,” he said. “If I did, we wouldn’t still be losing.”
The problem, as usual, was not that the Bulldogs lacked scoring opportunities. The team outshot the Bears 13-11, but many of their attempts sailed wide or high.
“We were dangerous, but that’s only two-thirds of the game,” Tompkins said. “You’ve simply got to put the ball in the net or it means nothing.”
In the first half, it appeared that Yale would find a way to end its losing streak. The Bulldogs came out in the opening minutes with several scoring opportunities by Stu Yingst ’03, who was named to the Ivy League Honor Roll last week, and Justin Burton ’04. Yale controlled the ball for most of the half.
Goalkeeper David Pozen ’02, who joined the team last week after a two-and-a-half year hiatus, looked as if he had never stopped playing. He finished the game with six saves.
“He came in for us and did a really good job, we really couldn’t have asked for anything more,” Lavin said.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, Brown broke the scoreless tie when Seth Quidachy-Swan took a midfield pass from Julian Jordan and dribbled past two Yale defenders before shooting the ball from the top of the box high past Pozen.
“We weren’t aggressive enough,” Tompkins said. “We backed off on him until he got into shooting range.”
Brown coach Mike Noonan attributed the Bulldogs’ problems to their inexperience and added that the Bears had extra motivation.
“They’re a good team, but they’ve got a lot of youth who will make mistakes,” he said. “This game probably meant more to us because we’re still in the hunt for the Ivy League [title].”
Brown had several chances to extend its lead, but Pozen made several aggressive saves to keep the Elis down only one.
From there, Yale’s game deteriorated. It became uneven and, as the clock winded down, somewhat frenzied.
Play also became rougher as the game went on, with several altercations occurring midway through the second half. At one point, a Brown player temporarily left the game with a bloody ear.
“The referee needs to deal with that early on, and then there will be no problems,” Noonan said. “He didn’t and almost had some serious problems there.”
Lavin disagreed, noting that Brown-Yale contests have seen more violent play in the recent past.
“I thought he could have given some cards out, but other than that one incident I thought it was just a hard-fought game,” he said.
Yale will face St. Peter’s College Wednesday night at 7 p.m. The team will finish up its season with a contest at Princeton and a makeup game at home against Loyola (Maryland).
“St. Peter’s has had a tough time this year, so we hope to have a good showing there,” Tompkins said.