Following Yale’s loss to No. 24 Hofstra Wednesday night, head coach Brian Tompkins spoke of the heightened challenge the men’s soccer team would face in their first Ivy League game. After the Bulldogs’ 2-0 win over Cornell, Tompkins is still looking for a challenge in the Ancient Eight.
Forward Lindsey Williams ’05 scored both Yale goals as the No. 19 Bulldogs (6-1, 1-0 Ivy) blanked Cornell (3-3-1, 0-2) 2-0 in Ithaca Saturday night.
“Overall it was a good performance,” Williams said. “Getting our first Ivy League win on the road in Ithaca was a good way to get things started. We definitely could have played better, but we’ll take the win.”
The goals were Williams’ fifth and sixth of the season. He leads the Elis in scoring with 14 points.
“People look at [Williams’] speed and his skill and those are obvious, but the things that people maybe take for granted with him is that he’s one of the most unselfish and selfless workers for us,” Tompkins said. “He just works so hard all the time, he does a lot of running that people don’t notice.”
The Bulldogs put themselves on the scoreboard relatively early. Just 15 minutes into the game, Williams took control after a Big Red defenseman boggled a back pass, running nearly half the length of the field before scoring an unassisted breakaway goal just inside the left post.
From there, the Elis continued their offensive assault on Cornell, recording eight shots in the first half and forcing Big Red goalkeeper Doug Allen to make four saves.
“We were almost too excited about the game in the first half and too anxious,” Tompkins said. “[At halftime] we talked about the need to be more precise in our play and calmer.”
Just under three minutes after returning from halftime, Yale extended its lead on Cornell after forward Andrew Dealy ’05 threaded a pass in between defenders to find Williams streaking along the right side. Williams lifted the ball high over Allen for his second score of the game.
The Big Red offense came to life after Yale’s second score, pressuring goalie Geoff Hollington ’04 and the Bulldog defense.
But solid play from the Bulldogs, which included stifling defense from rookies Ryan Morrissey ’06 and Marc Vimolratana ’06, kept Cornell at bay.
“Our defense played well, they shut them out and that’s really tough to do in the Ivy League,” Williams said.
With 19 minutes remaining, the Big Red had their best chance of the game to get on the scoreboard when Ian Palarski, Cornell’s top offensive threat, shot the ball off a direct kick.
Hollington, however, used his height to stretch out and block the shot to preserve Yale’s shutout victory.
“It was an important save because it was late in the game,” Tompkins said. “I was comfortable that we wouldn’t give up the 2-0 lead but I wasn’t sure whether Cornell might catch a goal and then make us really scramble in the closing minutes.”
Hollington finished the game with five saves. On offense, forward Justin Burton ’04 and midfielder Ryan Raybould ’05 each recorded three shots.
Yale was coming off its first loss of the season to Hofstra, in a game where the Bulldogs outshot the Pride 18-9.
“I think that we had a similar game to what we did at Hofstra,” Williams said. “It’s just that at Hofstra their goalie came out with a lot of big saves.”
The Elis return home Tuesday at 7 p.m. with a game against Fairfield at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium.