The last time Yale beat Boston College in men’s soccer, forward Gage Hills ’07 had not yet been born. But less than five minutes after kickoff in Tuesday’s game, he provided an early hint that this year could be different.
Hills’ early score was the first of three senior goals as the Elis (2-0) topped BC (2-2), 3-2. The victory extended Yale’s thus far undefeated season, and it also marked the end of an era for their opponents. The Bulldogs, led by eight strong seniors, defeated the Eagles for the first time since 1984. Tuesday’s victory followed a 3-0 win over Marist.
Hills’ goal against BC, and the scores of teammates Jordan Reiger ’07 and Alex Munns ’07 in the second half, determined the favorable outcome. But the trio could not have done it without their peers in blue and white.
“The thing that really won it for us was everyone’s hard determination,” Rieger said.
Rieger and his classmates on the team said they were very proud of defeating the Eagles in their final season. Despite strong performances against Boston College over the last three years, the seniors had never even witnessed an Eli goal scored against BC before this week.
The win was all the more meaningful given BC’s reputation as a strong squad, Yale head coach Brian Tompkins said.
“It’s always good to get a win against a very good team,” Tompkins said.
The game began with Hills’ shot into the lower right corner of the BC goal. Though his was the only goal for the Elis in the first half, and the Eagles managed to equalize the score, the Bulldogs never lost their momentum. Within the first minute of the second half, Rieger pulled his team ahead with goal number two.
Throughout the game, all the Bulldogs fought for the much-anticipated victory. The defenders were able to slow down Eagle forward Charlie Davies, whom Hills described as one of the best players in the country.
“Once we have the ball at our feet, everyone feels confident,” Hills said.
The Bulldogs scored the winning goal when Munns stole the ball from a BC defender and shot past goalkeeper Issey Moholo.
Yale goalkeeper Erik Geiger ’08 helped secure his team’s victory by posting four saves.
In their first game of the season last Saturday, the Elis defeated Marist despite rainy weather conditions. The weekend match not only ensured that the 2006 season would begin on a good note, but it also marked the first time since 2002 that the Elis won their season opener. Highlights of the game included Hills’ two goals, another score from midfielder James Stewart ’07, and Geiger’s three saves in the shutout effort.
This weekend the Bulldogs hope to stay strong when they host the Yale Classic.