The correlation between Alex Munns ’07 and the success of the men’s soccer team is clear: three games, three goals, three wins.
The 6-foot-1 freshman has scored in each of Yale’s three victories.
Most recently, Munns notched the game-winning goal for the second straight game early in the first half to lead the Elis past nationally ranked No. 17 University of Connecticut, 1-0, Wednesday night in Storrs.
Munns also scored in Yale’s 1-0 win against Hartford on Saturday. His third goal came in a 2-1 upset over defending NCAA College Cup runner-up Stanford, nationally ranked No. 19 at the time, on Sept. 14. Ê
“He gets the job done,” Ryan Raybould ’05 said. “I’ll love him to death if he keeps this up. It makes everyone else’s job so much easier when he scores.”
Although Connecticut (3-4-2) outshot Yale, 15-7, the Elis did not waste their chances. At 13:04, Munns settled a feed from Andrew Dealy ’05, took a touch, and fired a ball into the left corner of the net.
“He’s not Mr. Flashy,” Raybould said. “He’s big and tough and puts the ball in the net. That’s what he’s there to do.”
Since starting the season 1-3, Yale (3-3) has won two straight, and seems to have turned the corner — just in time, too, with the start of Ivy League play just one day away. If there is any one reason for this momentous change, it is undoubtedly Munns.
Munns leads the team in points and goals, and has emerged as the principle force behind the Elis’ offense, which struggled early on this fall.
The Elis’ defense, which has also suffered its share of lapses, has been brilliant of late. In its last two outings, it has not allowed a goal. On Wednesday, Matt Aleksinas ’06 made seven saves, including several key stops in the second half, to record his second consecutive shutout.
“Matt did a great job and came up big for us when we needed him to,” Raybould said.
The Huskies provided several scares for the Elis, the most frightening of which came in the final minutes when a header deflected off the post of the Yale goal. But in the end, none of that mattered. When the final whistle blew, the scoreboard read Yale 1, Connecticut 0. Ê
“We were able to stay focused for all 90 minutes,” Raybould said. “Against Creighton, we had a five-minute breakdown that cost us the game. This time we never lost concentration.”
Yale’s win snapped Connecticut’s 20-game home winning streak. The Elis recently broke their own six-game home losing streak with last Saturday’s win against the Hawks.
The Elis next play Harvard Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium.
“There is no other game like Harvard,” Raybould said. “We got a couple good wins but nothing can really prepare us for Saturday. We are just going to have to fight. It’s going to be a battle. Every Ivy League game is.”