The second round of non-conference games for the Yale men’s soccer team proved to be disappointing, resulting in two losses for the Elis.
Hosting UC Santa Barbara, the 2006 national champions, at their home opener at Reese Stadium on Friday, Yale put up a good fight but fell to the Gauchos 2–0. In the Sunday match against Temple, the Bulldogs were not able to recover from their first loss of the weekend, losing 2–0 to the Owls.
“I would say that both the UCSB and Temple games prepared us well for Ivy League competition,” forward Kyle Kenagy ’19 said. “Even though we didn’t get the result we were hoping for, we’ve worked harder than any other team we’ve played so far, and it’s just a matter of time before we start winning some games.”
UC Santa Barbara (2–2–1, 0–0–0 Big West) is known for being an aggressive team, especially offensively. This season, they have averaged 15 shots on goal per game, which is seven more than the Elis’ average.
A determined Yale team came into the game prepared for the forceful Gaucho offense. However, the Bulldogs fell behind in the 18th minute of the game, when Andy Perez received a cross pass that he one-time shot to put UCSB in the lead for his third goal of the season.
After stepping up their game both offensively and defensively, the Bulldogs were able to hold their dynamic opponents to only one goal until the second half, when Nick DePuy was able to get past Yale goalkeeper Ryan Simpson ’17 to score in the 71st minute of the game.
The Elis were outshot by their opponents 21–6, including only one shot on goal in the first half. Midfielder Theo Miller ’18 and Kenagy led the team with two shots on goal each, but they could not successfully get one past the UCSB goalkeeper Justin Vom Steeg.
According to Simpson, Head Coach Kylie Stannard told the players to control the controllable factors and not make any excuses. Even after the tough match, players felt as if they could only move forward.
“We are taking the season one game at a time, so that is where our focus is,” midfielder Lucas Kirby ’19 said.
Sunday’s game against Temple gave the team only two days to rebound from their loss, this time on the road. They took on the undefeated Owls at Ambler Sports Complex in Philadelphia.
Temple (4–0–1, 0–0–0 American) is making a comeback from its 2014 season, in which the Owls only won two games. Their win against No. 25 Penn State at their home opener made them a team for the Bulldogs to take seriously.
In the 30th minute of the game, Jorge Gomez scored the first goal for Temple. This was followed by a quick second goal by Gomez, in which he evaded three Yale defenders after a pass in the 42nd minute.
Although they remained scoreless for the weekend, Yale was only outshot 10–8 by the Owls. Despite their efforts, players know that they have more work to put in if they want to improve their season.
“At the end of the day, there are losers and there are learners,” Simpson said. “As long as we stay positive and keep working hard, the results will follow.”
The Bulldogs will host Quinnipiac this Saturday at 7 p.m.