After their first Ivy loss to Dartmouth last Saturday and a weather-forced postponement of the Boston College game originally scheduled for last Wednesday, the sun finally shone again on the men’s soccer team in their game against Cornell on Sunday.
On the heels of last weekend’s loss to the Big Green, the Bulldogs (6-2-3, 2-1 Ivy) rallied to shut out the Big Red (3-5-2, 2-1) yesterday, 2-0, with both goals coming from forward Alex Munns ’07. Munns, who scored his first goal with a hard shot to the lower left corner of the net, secured the win in the second half on a penalty kick with only 24 seconds remaining.
“We had it kind of tough this time, especially coming off an Ivy League loss, and it’s midterms so guys are under a lot of stress,” Munns said.
Yale head coach Brian Tompkins said Munns has a knack for the type of performance he displayed in Sunday’s game.
“He did what he does so well, rises to the occasion when we need an important goal or play,” Tompkins said, “His first goal was a beautiful individual effort, and it came at just the right time for us.”
Munns said he attributed the team’s victory to a more focused week of practice leading up to the Cornell game.
“Our coach took a relaxed approach,” Munns said. “We had practice once indoors, where it was a goal scoring game for the duration of practice. He kept it light so we wouldn’t feel burdened. The game on Wednesday was postponed, but it ended up being an advantage for us having the entire week off.”
While defender Alex Guzinski ’09 and Munns each took a shot in the first half within five minutes of each other, the ball hit the outside post both times and neither resulted in a goal. Those two shots were the Elis’ only attempts on goal in the first half.
Tompkins said he thought the team was sharper in its attack during the second half.
“We had a lot of possession in the first half but we weren’t really creating good goal-scoring opportunities,” Tompkins said. “In the second half we were more purposeful with our possessions, tried to put ourselves in more scoring opportunities, and we were successful in doing that.”
Tompkins said he was satisfied with the victory against their Ivy opponents, especially after the loss to Dartmouth.
“Cornell came in flying high at 2-0 in the league, and given the difficulty of the conditions with the wind being so strong and having a tough opponent, I was very pleased that we came out with a decisive win,” Tompkins said.
Midfielder Jordan Rieger ’07 said he thought this Ivy League win would be to the team’s advantage going into the game against Penn next Saturday.
“It’s always intense going into a tough Ivy League road game,” Rieger said. “A win like today’s lets everyone know we can play up to the standards.”
Munns shared his teammate’s optimism, saying this game could be the first of many Ivy victories. But with Yale, Dartmouth, Penn and Cornell each at 2-1 and Brown at 3-0 in Ivy League play, Tompkins said he thought it was still anyone’s race.
“We feel, as I’m sure the others do, that our destiny is very much in our own hands,” Tompkins said. “We’ll look to get another win next weekend in Philly. It’s still an open race as far as I’m concerned.”
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