The Yale men’s soccer team has had a tough start to its season. The Elis (0–7–2, 0–1–0 Ivy) fell to Harvard (6–3–0, 1–0–0) last Saturday in their Ivy League opener. After losing four straight matches and going scoreless for the sixth time this season, the Bulldogs aspire for a comeback at Dartmouth this Saturday. The News sat down with captain Conner Lachenbruch ’15 to discuss the team’s performance and his outlook of the season.

Q: How would you describe the overall performance of the Bulldogs in the last game against Harvard?

A: I describe it as a great fight. We knew it was going to be a battle and everybody stepped up to the occasion. They ended up taking advantage of their opportunities and we didn’t. They were better because of it.

Q: In what ways was the team’s offense unable to find opportunities during that game?

A: They did a very good job of being organized and exploiting our weaknesses.

Q: What has the team learned from its loss against Harvard and how does it seek to improve in the following weeks?

A: It was our first Ivy League game — so for a lot of the younger guys, it was a great learning experience about playing a rival team away from home in tough conditions. So we can use this experience [and] know this would be the hardest conditions for us to play [in]. We could use this for away games and especially home games.

Q: What do you think is preventing the Bulldogs from scoring this season?

A: I’d say we are having a tough time capitalizing on our opportunities, and now that we haven’t scored in so long, the pressure is even greater and therefore contributes to a difficult environment.

Q: Are there any players performing especially well this season? 

A: Our defense has been stellar, [especially] our two center defenders, Henry Flugstad-Clarke ’17 and Philip Piper ’17. They’ve kept us in every game. There is only one game [where] we lost by more than one goal.

Q: What do you personally hope to accomplish this season?

A: I just hope to accomplish a team attitude [in which] at the end of the season, everyone can say they gave their hardest. We can walk away proud [knowing] that we did the best we could. My goal is to win.

Q: How have you grown throughout the four years here?

A: I’ve grown a lot as a player, as a person and as a leader. I’ve learned what it means to be part of an incredible family that is the team.

Q: How have the team dynamics changed from last season to this season? Especially in terms of how freshman players have filled the roles of graduated seniors? 

A: We lost a big senior class, but the freshmen have done really well to step in and contribute to the team. They’ve proven that they can handle the pressure and adapt well to the college environment in a short time.

Q: Do you have anything you want to add to this interview?

A: All of the players … are all here because of our head coach Brian Tompkins, and it would be great to honor him with a successful rest of the season.