When it comes to offense, things are as easy as 1-2-3 for forward Lindsey Williams ’05.
First on the team in scoring, Williams recorded a two-goal game for the third time this season Wednesday night.
Williams scored two and forward Jay Alberts ’04 added a goal on a penalty kick as the Bulldogs (8-2-1, 1-1-1 Ivy) put on a clinic for hapless Quinnipiac, (0-10-2) beating the Bobcats 3-1 at the Soccer Lacrosse Stadium Wednesday night.
The Bobcats remain winless on the season.
Williams began his third two-goal game of the season 29:20 into the game after Justin Burton ’04 passed him the ball and it bounced off several defenders. Collecting it, Williams scored his seventh goal of the season, putting the ball past Bobcat goaltender Conor Shilcock-Elliott. Shilcock-Elliott was also the Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week.
Alberts, who fed the ball to Burton, was also credited with his eighth assist of the season, moving him into fifth place for all-time assists in a season and third place for career assists with 20.
Colin McEvoy ’82 holds the all-time career record of 24, which Alberts, who was named to the Ivy League Honor Roll this week, is on pace to shatter.
Less than 10 minutes later, midfielder Andrew Dealy ’05 had an excellent pass to forward John Walker ’03, chipping the ball over and behind a Bobcat defender to set up Walker on the right side. Walker, who was impressive throughout the game, put the ball across the goalmouth to a waiting Williams, who volleyed it just inside the right goalpost to double Yale’s lead.
With time winding down in the first half, rookie Marc Vimolratana ’06 danced around two defenders, drawing a desperate foul from a bewildered Bobcat defender inside the Quinnipiac box. Alberts nailed the subsequent penalty kick in the top righthand corner for his first goal of the season.
Head coach Brian Tompkins said the Bulldogs tried to avoid complacency against an inferior opponent like Quinnipiac by setting team goals for the game.
“We set goals as far as to try to move the ball and create danger with our speed, and not allow them to have space,” Tompkins said.
Goaltender Russ Stroud ’04 recorded one save in his first start this season for Yale.
In the second half, Quinnipiac’s Jason Mammen cut into the Elis’ lead when he took advantage of some confusion in front of Yale’s goal and beat Bulldog goalie Matt Aleksinas ’06 for what would be Quinnipiac’s only score of the game.
The Elis outshot the Bobcats 17-6 in a game where Yale emptied its deep bench.
“What was nice was to get all the people who aren’t injured into the game,” Tompkins said. “It rewards hard work and a dedication to the team cause.”
In addition, the coaching staff tried several lineup changes to gear up for this weekends’ Ivy League contest against No. 24 the University of Pennsylvania (8-2, 3-0 ), who is coming off an overtime defeat of Rutgers Wednesday.
“Our biggest game is looming,” Tompkins said. “There were some good signs and indications tonight.”
Captain Stu Yingst ’03, regularly a midfielder, played defense for most of the game and had a number of smart and effective backfield plays. He may be an option to replace the injured Steve Gibbons ’03 in the event that Gibbons is not ready to play by Saturday.
The Quakers sit alone atop the Ivy League as the only team with neither a loss nor a tie, and beating them is crucial if Yale wants a chance to rebound after their 2-0 Harvard loss.
It is certainly possible for the Elis to work their way back into the top of the Ivy standings. This season, more than ever, there has been a level of parity in the Ancient Eight that makes anything possible, as was shown two weeks ago when all three weekend Ivy games ended in draws.
“It has certainly been the trend that the league is getting tighter and tighter with each year that passes,” said Penn head coach Rudy Fuller. “The parity within the league this year is closer than ever.”
Penn’s John Rhodes was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week for his game-winning goal over Columbia last weekend, and David Maier is also a dangerous offensive player for the Quakers with 11 points so far this season.
But it is Penn’s defenders that have been the standouts, as the Quakers have given up only four goals all fall. Goaltender Matthew Haefner is fourth in the nation in goals-against average with a .043 goals against average.
“It all goes back to how well we play as a group,” said Fuller, who said his team’s outstanding chemistry will be the key to their success this weekend. “Obviously we’re defending very well, we’re not giving up a lot of goals. We’re going to have our job cut out for us this weekend trying to deal with the Yale attack, they’re the best attacking team in the Ivy League.”
According to Williams, the key to the win will be starting off the game with momentum instead of playing passively.
“On Saturday we need to have the energy we had earlier in the season, win the majority of the 50/50 challenges, show a strong presence in the beginning of the game and put them on their heels early,” Williams said.
The Bulldogs face off against the Quakers at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium.