The men’s soccer team will look to defend its six-year undefeated streak against Princeton as it takes on the Tigers (8–5–3, 3-1–2 Ivy) Friday night at 8 p.m. in New Jersey.
The game will be the final one of the season for the Bulldogs (5–8–2, 2–4), whose record does not fully display the extent of their improvement, according to head coach Brian Tompkins.
“Our goal at the beginning was to be better in the end than when we started, and I think we accomplished that, if not in terms of results, in terms of experience and lessons learned,” Tompkins said.
Despite a 2–1 loss to Brown last Saturday night at Reese Stadium, Tompkins said the Elis gained from the experience.
“I thought it was a good competitive game,” he said. “We saw our play improve when our passing became more purposeful in the second half of the game, and we’ll need to have more of the same on Friday. Princeton is very good team, and we’ll need to move the ball against them.”
According to Tompkins, Princeton’s strengths are its speed, transitions and attack.
The Tigers, who are undefeated in their last six games (4–0–2), have taken down Ivy foes Penn, Harvard and Columbia, while tying Cornell and losing to Dartmouth and Brown.
Like Princeton, Yale fell to Dartmouth and Brown, and beat Columbia.
Such statistics promise a challenging game for the Elis on Friday night.
“I think we’ve always played good games against Princeton, and [the games] are usually very close,” Tompkins said. “We’ve managed to score important goals against [Princeton] in the past, and we’ll be looking to execute.”
Despite Yale’s impressive record of play against Princeton, Tompkins emphasized that the results of years past hold no bearing on Friday night’s contest.
“We don’t’ really put too much talk into last week’s results, let alone results from five, six or seven years ago,” Tompkins said. “We know every game is going to be difficult. Princeton and Harvard had a very good second half of the season. They [Princeton] may be the hardest team in the league right now.”
The game will air on Fox Soccer Channel as a part of its NCAA College Game of the Week package.