After a long-awaited first win in an overtime thriller versus Temple, the Yale Bulldogs (1–9–2, 0–3–0 Ivy) lost in familiar fashion to Cornell (8–4–1, 1–2–0 Ivy). Yale men’s soccer fell victim to a seemingly irreversible pattern once again: losing 1–0 after conceding a second-half goal.
Despite taking 15 shots, the Elis landed only four on target, hardly challenging Cornell’s Zach Zagorski, who saved each one. Cornell, however, loosed a barrage of on-target shots, firing 16 with nine landing on frame. Despite accurate shooting from the Big Red, Blake Brown ’15 came up with a stellar performance, saving eight shots before conceding a heartbreaking goal to Cornell’s Conor Goepel in the 81st minute.
Despite the tough loss, Ollie Iselin ’18 was once again a bright spot for the Elis, launching four shots during the game, which led the team. Teddy Mauze ’18 also had a strong performance that nearly culminated in a late equalizer, which was barely cleared when at a standstill on the goal line. Strong performances from these freshmen bode well for the future of Yale men’s soccer.
“Going up to Cornell and playing in the wet conditions definitely tested us, but I thought our guys did really well competing,” Keith Bond ’16 said. “Unfortunately they slipped in a goal on us with not much time left in the game, and we weren’t able to respond.”
Yet again Yale’s stiff defense held its own against an offensive onslaught, buoying an anemic Eli offense that simply could not finish one of its myriad of opportunities. Despite leading the game in corner kicks by a margin of 7–2, Yale was unable to convert any of these precious scoring chances into points. This inability to finish has been a frustrating Achilles’ heel for the Bulldogs all year, as they have scored just five goals in 12 games.
“Unfortunately our ability to execute in front of the goal and take advantage of good play has been a recurring issue this season, and Saturday’s game was another case of playing well but not punishing our opponents when we had the chance,” head coach Brian Tompkins said.
Having taken just over 140 shots this season, the Elis sport one of the worst shooting percentages in the entire Ivy League at 3.6 percent. Despite taking 11.7 shots per game, both the Elis’ goal per game average, which stands at 0.4 goals per game, and their shooting percentage are historically below-average. If the Bulldogs continue at their current offensive clip, they will post their worst shooting percentage in over five years and their worst goals per game average in the same length of time.
Despite a relatively strong defense all season, the Elis’ inability to score has proven their downfall in almost every game. In fact, their third straight Ivy loss against Cornell also marks their sixth 1–0 loss of the year. Notably, 10 of Yale’s 12 games have been decided by one goal or fewer, emphasizing the team’s critical need for some sort of production. Despite the Elis’ run of bad form, however, Tompkins stated that his team would not be discouraged.
“Our players have too much pride, talent and drive to concede the rest of the season,” the 19th-year coach said.
Midfielder Pablo Espinola ’16 echoed his coach’s sentiments and added that the team’s only future goal right now is focusing on and winning their next game.
The Elis’ next contest comes against the University of Pennsylvania on Saturday, Oct. 25, at Reese Stadium.