The men’s soccer team came up just short in a rain-drenched affair against its archrival on Saturday at Reese Stadium.
The Bulldogs (2–4–2, 0–1 Ivy) suffered a heartbreaking 1–0 defeat in the final minutes of sudden death, double overtime against Harvard.
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After a nearly two-hour-long rain delay, the first half started in the middle of a torrential downpour.
“The rain delay didn’t really affect the game,” forward Chris Dennen ’12 said. “Both teams knew how important the game was. I can only speak for our team, but we stayed focused, came out and played well.”
The Crimson (7–1, 1–0) rallied during the first 45 minutes of play, outshooting the Bulldogs 12–1, but the Elis were able to match Harvard’s intensity during the second half. Both teams managed to attempt seven shots on goal during the period, but the match remained scoreless after 90 minutes of play.
“Harvard made us defend a lot in the first half,” head coach Brian Tompkins said. “It took us a little while to adjust to the physical demand and the tempo of the game. We struggled to keep possession; in a way I think we were too pumped to play.”
The game’s lone goal came during the last seven minutes of the second overtime when Harvard’s Brian Rogers slipped the ball past goalkeeper Travis Chulick ’10 to give the Crimson the win.
Though Harvard pulled off the win in the end, the game was well-played on both sides. Several of the Elis’ scoring attempts came within feet, if not inches, of the goalpost, and both teams’ goalkeepers were kept busy for the duration of the game.
“Throughout the game we were dangerous,” Tompkins said. “There were a couple of opportunities in the first overtime that didn’t materialize, but both teams were so attack-minded that it made for an exciting match.”
Chulick posted one of his most impressive performances of the year, with eight total saves on the day.
“Travis played great. He’s always a really solid keeper,” captain and midfielder Jordan Raybould ’10 said. “He came up with some big saves that held us in the game. He’s also great at organizing the defense.”
Dennen added: “Travis kept us in the game and proved why he’s one of the best — if not the best — in the league.”
Going into this weekend’s match, Harvard had the advantage on paper. The Crimson currently have seven total wins, including five shutouts. The Elis were hoping to use Saturday’s game to bounce back from their consecutive losses to Rhode Island University and Sacred Heart University on Sept. 22 and Sept. 29, respectively.
“Harvard is obviously a very good team, very athletic and dynamic,” Tompkins said. “They are very difficult to contain defensively. I felt like we gave it to them as good as we got it.”
This weekend’s match was not only the Ivy League opener for both teams, but it also marked Yale’s annual Alumni Day. A halftime ceremony honored the 1999 Bulldog team, which won a record 13 games and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
“[Saturday’s] game could’ve gone either way, but what was important was that everyone came together,” Raybould said. “There were no holes. All aspects were there.”
The Bulldogs hope to improve their record when they take on Boston College away at 7 p.m. Tuesday.