In Brian Tompkins’s last match as Yale soccer’s head coach, the Elis took on the 2014 Ivy League Co-Champions, Princeton. As they have nearly every time this season, the Bulldogs fell short.
The Tigers defeated the Bulldogs (1–13–3, 0–6–1 Ivy) 1–0. This season Princeton topped the Ancient Eight table with an impressive 11–3–3 record and a near perfect 5–1–1 in conference mark. Despite another valiant defensive effort on the Bulldogs’ part, a habitual lack of offensive production and a single defensive lapse accounted for their fourth straight loss.
In Yale’s last home matchup, neither side produced much in the way of offense over the course of the game’s 90 minutes. Princeton landed just four shots on target out of 13 total, while Yale managed just three shots on goal out of 11. Almost all of the match’s competitive metrics were equal — with Yale and Princeton having the same number of corner kicks, fouls and saves between them.
However, disaster for the Elis struck midway through the second half when Ivy League standout, Cameron Porter, buried a rebounded shot that Blake Brown ’15 had initially saved. When time expired, Porter’s goal handed Yale its ninth 1-0 loss of the season.
“It was a pretty emotional experience for everyone involved,” forward Teddy Mauze ’18 said. “We all desperately wanted to send Coach Tompkins and our four seniors off with a win. We had our opportunities and failed to put them away, which made the post-game ceremonies even tougher to swallow.”
Defender Henry Flugstad-Clarke ’17 added that he thought Tompkins was an incredible coach who leaves behind a strong legacy.
The Elis were simply unable to produce anything offensively all season. Their best chance against Princeton came when forward Avery Schwarz ’16 launched a shot that deflected off Princeton’s pipe and away from danger, underscoring the Elis’ inability to create quality chances. In 17 games, the Bulldogs managed to produce just seven goals, one of the worst 17 game scoring marks in Yale soccer history.
Furthermore, the Elis produced just three goals in seven Ivy League contests, marking them as the worst scoring offense in the Ancient Eight. Additionally, despite strong defensive efforts, the Elis conceded an Ivy League worst 11 in-conference goals this season, making them the worst statistical defense in Ivy competition.
This season was the Elis’ worst record under Tompkins’s leadership and their first one-win season since 1922, when the Elis played just six games. The Bulldogs have never before failed to win at least three games in a 17 game season. In fact, Yale has only posted seven seasons with one or fewer wins since 1908, including 2014.
“It has been my privilege to coach some great teams and many terrific players in my time at Yale, and therefore it has been disappointing to see the team struggle to win this fall,” Tompkins said. “There is work to be done to strengthen and rebuild parts of the program, but my successor on the sidelines will have a good core of players to work with, and there is no reason that the team cannot bounce back and become a force very quickly.”