After drawing blanks in four straight games, the men’s soccer team (0–4–2, 0–0–0 Ivy) will enter Friday’s showdown with Quinnipiac University (2–4–1, 0–0–0 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) looking to get its offense off the ground.
With just two games remaining before their Ivy League opener at Harvard, the Elis will be try to snag their elusive first win at Quinnipiac on Friday, Sept. 26, and put their 380-minute scoring drought behind them. The Elis have scored just two goals all season, but have managed to out shoot their opponents in half of their games thus far. Ultimately, finishing woes have been the downfall of Yale’s non-conference campaign thus far, preventing the men’s soccer squad from capitalizing on big opportunities inside the opposing third.
“We feel that we are playing really good ball but are just lacking concentration in that final third [of the pitch],” midfielder and forward Josh Totte ’18 said. “Once that piece comes together, well, that’s really exciting to think about.”
Fortunately for Yale, the Bulldogs are coming off of a loss in which they put forth one of their best offensive halves all season, out-shooting Central Connecticut State University by eight strikes in the second half.
“The players are still thinking positively and know that our fortunes will change and that the goal dam will finally burst,” head coach Brian Tompkins said in a Sunday evening email.
Unfortunately for the Elis, Quinnipiac has proven itself the far more capable scoring side this season. The Bobcats have put up six goals in seven games, including a 2–0 victory over Yale’s Ancient Eight opponent, Columbia. Furthermore, Quinnipiac dismantled Providence in a 3–1 win in which the Bobcats were denied goals on just five of their total shots. Additionally, the Bobcat offense is highly balanced in its scoring, with all six goals coming from different players. This means that the Elis cannot afford to concentrate their defensive efforts on shutting down just one superstar striker or midfielder. Instead, the Bulldog backline will be forced to contend with a myriad of Bobcat scoring options.
However, if Yale is to finally break its scoring drought, the Quinnipiac match may be one of its best chances to do so. The Bobcats have conceded 10 goals in 7 games this season, including a 3–0 defeat to Northern Illinois. Despite their impressive scoring clip, the Bobcats have shown defensive vulnerabilities in accruing their 1.38 goals against per game average, a mark that Yale’s defense bests by conceding, on average, just one goal per game.
“We always enjoy our games against our city rivals and they are generally close, tough battles,” Tompkins said. “After the past weekend when we played well but came away with little to show for it we want to get a good result on Friday.”
Yale will head to Quinnipiac for a 4:00 p.m. kick-off on Friday.