This one was different — it only lasted 101 minutes, and the men’s soccer team did not tie.
Yale (2-5-4, 0-1-2 Ivy) ended its a six-game undefeated streak with a loss to Penn (5-6-2, 2-1-0) on Saturday night in Philadelphia by conceding a goal in the second of two sudden-death overtimes. The Bulldogs’ fifth overtime game this season was the first that did not result in a tie.
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“We played so well today that I feel we had a chance to win,” defender Alex Guzinski ’09 said. “To [lose] in the first minute of [second] overtime is disappointing because we’re so used to overtimes, and we’re so used to the long haul.”
But the Bulldogs’ newly found offensive prowess did not give up when the squad was down by a goal. The visitors pounded five shots at the Quaker net in the first period alone and midfielder Andy Shorten ’11 — whose play at outside midfield boosted the Elis’ offense — recorded his second career goal in the 26th minute.
Midfielder Jordan Raybould ’10 took a hard shot from about 35 yards out that was deflected back to Shorten, who launched the ball high into the goal beyond the Penn netminder’s grasp.
“We competed like lions today,” Yale head coach Brian Tompkins said. “The effort was fantastic, and we responded really well to an early goal. We fought our way back.”
The second half brought a change in pace for the Quakers, whose compact play opened up a bit and allowed them to get numbers up top, players said. Six of their 15 shots came in the second stanza. But the defense blocked five as captain and goalkeeper Erik Geiger ’08 was only required to make one save — he blocked three shots total in the match.
On one play, a Penn forward streaked down the field with defender Frank Piasta ’09 close on his heels. The Quaker passed Piasta, but his run was stymied by Guzinski, whose sliding tackle knocked the ball out of play with about 8:30 to play in regulation. Earlier, the opposite occurred when Piasta tackled a forward who streaked past Guzinski.
Shorten said the Elis were most effective when they were able to get the ball up the wings and get crosses off to players inside the box.
“[Wing play] is especially important against a 4-3-3 because they’re vulnerable on crosses and switches,” he said. “If we could do that, we were OK.”
Defender Max Rhodes ’09 was able to expose Penn’s weakness with about 10 minutes to go in the second half. When defender Markus Jackson ’09 placed a long ball directly at Rhodes’ feet on a cross, Rhodes then took a touch and the Penn goalkeeper reached for the ball. Rhodes plowed through the Quaker, and both players flew away from the collision, but he was unable to score on the play.
Penn was dominating in the second stanza, as the Bulldogs were unable to get the tiebreaker in the back of the net.
“We were under pressure, and we had a difficult time in the second half,” Tompkins said. “Penn controlled the tempo, and it was difficult to get any rhythm into our passing. At times, our inexperience showed a little.”
But Shorten’s shot knotted the game at one and put the Bulldogs in a familiar position — tied going into overtime.
For his second goal of the night, Penn forward Loukas Tasigianis received a cross 45 seconds into the second OT and knocked his shot beyond a diving Geiger’s reach to end the game 2-1 and drop the Elis to an 0-1-2 record in conference play.
To the Elis’ dismay, the script did not play out, and they were handed a defeat for the first time since Sept. 21.
“It was disappointing,” Piasta said. “Especially when you play a lot of minutes, you don’t want to tie. We just got caught. It’s especially disappointing because we came down here and spent the whole weekend and we lost.”
But the Bulldogs can take away a few positives from Saturday’s defeat as they look ahead to a mid-week matchup against No. 1 UConn on Wednesday in New Haven at 7 p.m.
“You have to ask — are there any positives? Absolutely. The commitment and effort was fantastic,” Tompkins said. “The outcome was disappointing but the guys’ approach and tenacity was terrific.”