After scoring only three goals in their previous six games, the men’s soccer team exploded for five goals Wednesday against St. Peters University.
The Bulldogs (6-7-2) snapped their six-game losing streak with a 5-0 victory over the Peacocks (5-13-1) at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium. Each of the team’s five goals was scored by a different Bulldog, with Andrew Dealy ’05 scoring a goal and contributing an assist to move him atop the team’s points list with 13.
“It was nice to score five goals after only having three in our last six games,” said forward Justin Burton ’04, who notched his first goal of the season Wednesday.
After losing their last six matches and falling below .500, the Elis were impressive, dominating the game from start to finish.
“It was important that we imposed our will on them early,” head coach Brian Tompkins said.
Early in the game, the Bulldogs saw three consecutive shots sail just wide or high — a problem that had plagued them throughout their slump. But luck went their way in the 18th minute when a scramble in front of the goal resulted in a high-bouncing ball that got behind Peacock goaltender Michael Sylvia. The goal was attributed to Ryan Raybould ’05.
St. Peter’s attempts to tie the game were thwarted by Yale goalie Dan Grimm ’05, a lacrosse recruit making his first start in goal. Grimm finished the game with an 8-save shutout.
“It was a good feeling to play and win,” Grimm said. “I felt like we played a nice game.”
In the 26th minute, Allen Cerasani ’04 took a shot from the right side that deflected off Brian Roberts ’04 to extend the Bulldogs’ lead to 2-0.
“We had to find ways to get a goal, no matter how it looked,” Tompkins said. “They weren’t all pretty, but we did get a couple of nice ones.”
Less than 10 minutes later, Jon Skalecki ’05 shot the ball from the outside left. When the goalie mishandled the save, Brian Larkin ’02 was there to push the rebound in for a 3-0 lead.
Tompkins said that he had told his players they needed to increase their offensive output.
“We demanded they be more assertive with their shots and with their work inside the penalty box,” he said.
The second half was more of the same. Although the Bulldogs rested many of their starters, the team continued to dominate play.
“It was a good team effort,” Burton said. “We got lots of guys in, and people who don’t usually score goals got to contribute.”
Burton was the first to do so in the second half when he took advantage of a tie-up between Stu Yingst ’03 and Peacock goalie Patrick Lawlor and knocked in a loose ball.
Yale’s fifth and final goal was more picturesque than the others. Dealy redirected Nick Morris’s ’03 cross in midair to cement the Elis’ victory. From there, the team did not let up and continued to put pressure on the Peacocks, finishing with 32 shots on net.
This weekend, Yale will face much tougher competition when they travel to Princeton, N.J., to play the Tigers.
“They may be the best in the league talent-wise,” Tompkins said. “We are major underdogs, but we want to disrupt their quest for the title.”