Searching for a second Ivy League win, the men’s soccer team (2-6, 1-0 Ivy) will battle Dartmouth (2-1-4, 0-0-1 Ivy) on the road this weekend.
The Big Green will host a determined Eli team on Sunday at the Chase Athletic Field complex at 2:30 p.m.
The Dartmouth game gives the Bulldogs the chance to further their Ivy League success, following last weekend’s 1-0 shutout against Harvard.
Dartmouth meanwhile tied its Ivy opener with Princeton last Saturday. Heading into the weekend, both teams have two wins on the season and are unbeaten in Ivy League play.
Yale head coach Brian Tompkins believes that a victory Sunday will provide his team a much-needed boost.
“It’ll be tough Ivy League soccer on Sunday,” Tompkins said. “If we can come out of it with a win, it will definitely be a huge confidence-builder for the team.”
The key to defeating Dartmouth rests in Yale’s ability to break through an almost impenetrable Big Green defense. On average, Dartmouth has allowed only 0.86 goals per game, and their defense is well-respected for its athleticism, size and intensity.
The Dartmouth defense is led by a trio of sophomore standouts. Lucas Richardson and Jacob Aguiar anchor the backfield, while the man in the net is Rowan Anders.
While the Dartmouth defense may be young, Eli captain Ryan Raybould ’05 knows that his team must take them seriously.
“Defensively, they’re very good,” he said. “That’s been [Dartmouth’s] strength for several years. They’re going to be organized in the back, and they’re going to be tough.”
The Elis are depending upon forward Lindsey Williams ’05 and midfielder Andrew Dealy ’05 to lead a dynamic offensive attack.
So far this season, Dealy leads the team in points (nine) and goals (three), while tied for the team lead in assists (three).
As for Williams, who led the league in points his sophomore year, his five points are good for second on the Bulldogs squad.
“We’ll be looking to find ways to get in behind [Dartmouth’s defense] and to create scoring opportunities in a variety of ways,” Tompkins said.
The Bulldogs will also be seeking to capitalize on one of Dartmouth’s biggest weaknesses this season — difficulty finding the net.
With just seven goals in as many games, the Big Green has been struggling offensively this season.
“They don’t give up too many goals,” Eli forward Alex Munns ’07 said. “[But] they don’t score too many either.”
According to Dartmouth head coach Jeff Cook, Dartmouth’s offensive performance this season is not indicative of the quality of their play.
“We have been creating good chances to score,” Cook said. “[But], if we’re going to be successful, we need to find a way to get more goals.”
Yale’s status in the Ivy League is highly dependent upon their performance on Sunday’s game.
The opportunity to start Ivy play 2-0 is a chance the Elis are eager to capitalize on, particularly after their disappointing 0-6 start to the regular season.
“Because of the way the beginning of our season went, it’s really important to do well in the Ivy League,” Munns said. “All our intensity and emotion are focused on doing well in the league.”