The Elis may be down, but they are certainly not out.
The men’s soccer team suffered a disappointing 1-0 loss at Dartmouth yesterday afternoon, dropping to 2-7 on the season, and 1-1 in the Ivies. The Bulldogs struggled offensively against an exceptionally strong Big Green team (3-1-4, 1-0-1 Ivy), whose unbeaten streak is now at seven games.
The pivotal moments of the game were all within the first ten minutes of play. At 5:06 into the game, Big Green forward Mark Limpert hit a through ball to the left side of the Eli defense. Forward Scott Darci met the ball and struck a low, hard shot to the right corner of the net.
The Bulldog defense and goalkeeper Geoff Hollington ’05 were unable to react quickly enough to halt the play.
“Unfortunately, we got caught out once and they punished us for that,” forward Alex Munns ’07 said.
Less than four minutes later, Yale had a chance to even the score. Munns mounted an attack on the Dartmouth goal, but the Big Green defense took him out to stop the drive. The Elis were awarded a penalty kick inside the box. Midfielder Andrew Dealy ’05 , who leads the team this season in goals and in points, stepped forward to take the kick.
Dealy faced off against Dartmouth goalkeeper, Rowan Anders, who is ranked fourth in the Ivy League for goals against average (0.75), shutouts per game (0.29), and saves per game (3.29). Anders anticipated Dealy’s shot to the corner and grabbed the save to hold on to the Big Green’s lead.
“They’re a great defensive team,” Yale head coach Brian Tompkins said. “It’s difficult to create chances to score against them.”
After their goal, the Big Green packed their defense tightly in hopes of keeping the Elis away from the net. The Bulldogs were occasionally able to break through the Dartmouth lines and had eight shots after Dealy’s penalty kick. The Elis were unable to capitalize on any of their chances.
“We had some opportunities, but when it came to putting the finishing touch on it, we fell short,” Hollington said. “We were unable to find the back of the net today.”
Yesterday’s loss puts the Elis in the middle of the pack in the Ivy League standings. The Bulldogs joined Brown and Harvard at the number four slot after the weekend’s play.
The Elis do not believe that the loss to Dartmouth puts them at a disadvantage in conference competition. Although there is increased pressure to perform well in their next five games, a league title is not out of the question.
“We’re still very much in the hunt here,” Tompkins said.
The Elis will seek to improve on their play and find ways to capitalize on their offensive skills before Wednesday night when they take on Boston College at 7 p.m. at Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium.
“We’re not playing badly,” Tompkins said. “But we have to execute when we get chances to score.”