It may have been the end of the season, with snow on the field and below-freezing temperatures, but the men’s soccer team finally got hot.
The Bulldogs (7-10, 4-3 Ivy) tallied four times to beat the Princeton Tigers (8-5-4, 3-2-2) by a score of 4-2 at Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium Saturday. The win gave Yale another winning record in the Ivy League and crushed the Tigers’ Ivy League title hopes. Andrew Dealy ’05 scored two goals, and Alex Munns ’07 and James Stewart ’07 each added a goal for the victory. Ending the season with a win was an important accomplishment for the Elis, who started their season 0-6 and saw a potential conference title slip out of their hands with a loss to Brown last week.
“It’s been an up-and-down season,” Yale head coach Brian Tompkins said. “We got off to the worst possible start, but we’ve been able to climb our way back to respectability. We were definitely a better team at the end of the season than we were at the beginning, and that’s always a goal.”
Princeton scored the first goal of the game just nine seconds into play. The Tigers had the first kickoff, and drove the ball deep into Eli territory. The Bulldogs were unable to clear the ball out of their box, and Princeton forward Ryan Rich fired an unassisted shot past Eli goalkeeper Geoff Hollington ’05.
Yale, however, was able to respond with a furious offensive attack. Led by Dealy, the Bulldogs dominated offensively and outshot the Tigers 22-8 en route to an uncharacteristic four goals, two more than the Elis totaled in their last four games combined.
“The first goal kind of woke us up,” Eli forward Lindsey Williams ’05 said. “It was good to come back and put four in. It was a good performance.”
The Elis lit up their side of the scoreboard at 14:06. Munns dribbled the ball down the center of the field, and knocked a pass to Williams, who was by the right goalpost. Williams hit a low cross-ball past Tiger goalkeeper Erik White. Stewart met the assist, and tapped the ball into the net for his first collegiate goal.
Dealy rounded out the first half, scoring at 39:49. Forward Gage Hills ’07 passed the ball through the Tigers’ back line to Dealy, who challenged White one-on-one, and chipped a shot over the head of the Princeton keeper.
Just over 20 minutes into the second half, Dealy racked up another goal for Yale. Munns gained control of the ball inside the 18 and passed it to Jordan Rieger ’07. Rieger dropped the ball behind the Tigers’ back four, and Dealy gathered the pass and nailed the shot for his sixth goal of the season.
The Tigers pulled back within one goal with a score from Adrian Melville. Princeton fought its way inside the 18, and the Elis were once again unable to clear the ball. Rich assisted Melville on the goal, which was scored at 76:37.
But Munns followed up with a goal of his own in the 84th minute to put the game out of Princeton’s reach. Williams fed the ball to Munns, who drove toward the goal. White came out of the net to try to stop the advance, but Munns beat him off the dribble and fired an uncontested shot into the net.
Saturday was the last day Dealy, Williams, Hollington and captain Ryan Raybould ’05 took the field for Yale. The seniors, who combined offensively for six out of the team’s 13 points, were instrumental in the win.
“I thought they all played really well,” Tompkins said. “They demonstrated today what makes them the quality leaders and the quality players that they are. I’m thrilled they ended their careers with a memorable victory.”
Hollington, who returned to the pitch this year after missing last season with a back injury, grabbed one save in the win, bringing his career total up to 106. Dealy, an All-Ivy midfielder, ended his career at Yale with 21 goals and 14 assists. Williams finished with 19 goals and ten assists, and Raybould ended his career with five goals and ten assists.
“Not enough can be said about our seniors,” Rieger said. “It was just important to get a win for them.”
Eli midfielder Shannon Brooks ’06 echoed Rieger’s sentiments about the importance of sending the seniors out with a win.
“It was a goal of ours this week in practice to have a good performance so the seniors could go out on a good note,” Brooks said. “And they played unbelievable today.”
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