The men’s soccer team’s record in Ivy League play does not truly reflect the caliber of the team this season. They now have a chance to prove it – their final two conference matchups are against teams ahead of them in conference standings.
The first test for the Bulldogs (6-7-2, 2-3 Ivy) comes this Saturday, when they travel to Providence, R.I., to face Brown (9-5-1, 3-2) at 4:30 p.m.
Having already faced teams at the top and bottom of Ivy League standings, Yale’s contests against Brown and Princeton give the team an opportunity to gain ground in the Ancient Eight .
Although the Bears (9-5-1, 3-2) are one game up on Yale in Ivy League standings, a comparison of head-to-head performances against other teams is encouraging for the Elis.
At first glance, the two teams look almost identical. Both defeated struggling Cornell and Columbia, while falling to league leaders Penn and Harvard. Yet the score lines of these conference matchups give the Bulldogs an apparent advantage.
In recent Ivy League contests, the Bears were demolished by Penn and Harvard by a combined score of 8-1. The Elis, on the other hand, fell by one goal in each contest. The Bulldogs also defeated both Cornell and Columbia by greater margins than the Bears. These factors account for Yale’s surprising +2 goal differential in conference play — despite its losing record — and Brown’s -3 goal margin, despite its winning record.
Yet according to defender Jordan Raybould ’10, film showed that the final score of some of Brown’s games was not representative of the Bear’s play.
“I haven’t seen the game film, but I know that Coach Tompkins said that they’re a very good team,” Raybould said. “The score was 4-0, but it definitely wasn’t a 4-0 game. … We’ve been playing well, and we won over the weekend pretty handily, but we don’t want to be overconfident. We’re playing at Brown, so they’ll definitely be up for it.”
In their last five matchups the two teams have been dead even, with each squad winning twice after the 2003 contest ended in a 1-1 tie.