In their penultimate shot at finally securing an Ivy League win, the Yale Bulldogs came up short once again in a 1–0 loss to Brown, continuing a rough run of form for the Elis.
Yale (1–12–3, 0–5–1 Ivy) fell victim to a familiar scenario, playing respectable defense for 90 minutes only to concede a single goal in the second half that dashed their hope of taking points away from the match, a point which departing head coach Brian Tompkins echoed.
With just one game left in the season, the Elis sit in last place among the Ancient Eight. Yale has managed just one point in the Ivy League and has a conference-worst 0.083 winning percentage. If that mark holds, Yale will finish with one of their worst seasons with Tompkins at the helm.
“It may sound repetitious, but this game was another in a series of games this season that has seen us play well but not come away with a result,” Tompkins said.
Yale’s offense was yet again a point of frustration for the Elis, as they were able to produce just 10 shots with only four on target. The Bears (5–5–6, 2–2–2) fared no better, shooting just 11 times with three on target. However, unlike the Elis, the Bears were able to capitalize on what few offensive opportunities they were afforded.
In the 73rd minute, goalkeeper Blake Brown ’15 attempted a clear that Bears forward Ben Maurey was able to intercept and control near the Bulldogs’ net. He then launched a shot straight back toward Yale’s net. Brown was able to tip the shot as it soared past him, but he was ultimately beaten from 25 yards out as Maurey capitalized on the Yale error that wound up deciding the game.
“Overall, we defended very well and were not particularly troubled by the Brown offense, but they punished a mistake on a defensive clearance and turned the game their way,” Tompkins said.
Perhaps Yale’s best chance of the game came just after halftime, when captain Conner Lachenbruch ’15 had a shot saved and another one blocked in quick succession, and forward Teddy Mauze ’18 followed with a shot that sailed high over the goal and out of play.
Under Tompkins, who is retiring after 19 years as head coach after Saturday’s game against Princeton, the Elis have never won fewer than three games in a season, nor have they finished a campaign without a win in Ivy League play.
The Bulldogs have lost eight games this season by a score of 1–0, with their match against Brown marking the latest of these closely-contested but ultimately disappointing matches.
“It was another well-fought game that could have gone either way,” Lachenbruch said. “We did well to combat their strengths and take advantage of their weaknesses that we knew of going into the game. Unfortunately they were able to capitalize on an opportunity and we weren’t.”
When Yale takes on Princeton this Saturday in Tompkins’s final home game as head coach, the Elis will also have their last shot at redemption this season. If Yale can pull out a win against the Tigers, it would mean not just a tremendous upset — as Princeton is the top ranked team in the Ivy League — but would also mark a point of pride for a struggling Eli squad.
“Being our last game and our senior night, the match against Princeton is going to be a really special one,” forward Keith Bond ’16 said. “This year is especially important as Coach Tompkins is retiring after 19 years of leading us, so we’re looking to end the season, and our coach’s career, on a high note.”
The Elis take on Princeton on Nov. 15 at 3 p.m. in Reese Stadium.