In their fifth Ivy League contest of the season, the Bulldogs (1–11–3, 0–4–1 Ivy) took on the Columbia Lions (6–6–1, 2–2–1) and looked prepared to ride a momentum-changing equalizer to either a tie or their first win against an Ancient Eight opponent all season. However, disaster struck late in the second half when the Elis ceded a game-winning penalty kick to the Lions with just three minutes left in the match, giving Columbia a hard fought 2–1 win.
“It was a really tough end to a great game,” forward Teddy Mauze ’18 said.
Columbia opened up the day’s scoring late in the second half with a goal by Arthur Bosua in the 77th minute.
Yale, snapping out of their slump of late 1–0 defeats responded brilliantly to the seemingly decisive goal. With just five minutes remaining, Henry Albrecht ’17 played a well-weighted pass across the penalty box to Henry Flugstad-Clarke ’17, who slammed the equalizer into the Columbia net. This appeared to give Yale the momentum it needed to overcome the Lions. But when the Elis conceded a tough penalty just two minutes later, the narrative of the match flipped instantly. Antonio Matarazzo coolly converted the penalty that gave Columbia a one goal lead with just three minutes left in the match, beating an in-form Blake Brown ’15, who guessed the penalty’s direction correctly but was simply unable to make a difficult save.
The late goal left hardly enough time for Yale to re-conjure the magic that had leveled the contest in the first place.
“It’s always tough to lose a game by a penalty kick, especially when it comes that late in the game when you don’t really have that much time to come back,” forward Keith Bond ’16 said. “Again, I thought that the team gave a great effort and really played well despite the challenging weather conditions, and that we were just unfortunate to not come out of the game with a result.”
Despite the tight result, however, the game’s statistics reveal how dominant Columbia was the entire evening. While a narrow 15–14 shots give the appearance of a close contest, the Lions had 11 shots on target compared to Yale’s five. In fact, the Elis remained close in large part due to a strong performance from Brown. Brown had nine saves over the course of the match, by far his season high.
Defensive fortitude ultimately kept Yale alive through much of the match. It was a defender, Flugstad-Clarke, who gave the Elis the late equalizer. Unfortunately for Yale, late concessions after poor finishing and anemic offensive production plagued the Bulldogs, as they have for much of the season. The Elis have failed to score more than one goal in any of their games this year and have scored just seven goals in 15 games played.
“It’s a really tough way to lose a game, when it’s decided by a referee’s decision like that,” Flugstad-Clarke said. “Conner Lachenbruch [’15] played a great game and dominated the midfield for us, but unfortunately we didn’t put away our chances.”
Mauze said that despite the team’s disappointing loss to Columbia and the fact that they have been statistically eliminated from the hunt for the Ivy League crown, the Elis are still striving to win every game. Mauze added that the team would like to send their seniors off with two wins before the season is over.
The Elis’ next game is against Brown on Saturday, Nov. 8, in Providence, Rhode Island.