After drawing even late in Tuesday’s contest, the Yale men’s soccer team conceded a goal in the 118th minute of the game, falling to Hartford in a heartbreaking double-overtime loss. But the team has very little time to lick its wounds, as it takes on Columbia Saturday.
Yale’s (2–8–2, 1–2–1 Ivy) loss came primarily from the deft feet of Hartford (7-–7–3, 2-–1–2, American East) forward Jeff Tyron, who secured both goals for his team. Despite the final result, the Elis did a lot of things well, according to head coach Kylie Stannard. But Yale suffered yet again from its inability to put the ball in the back of the net, scoring just one goal on Tuesday.
“The performance was by far one of the best we have had the past couple of seasons so I am really happy about that,” Stannard said. “We pressed well, we were dangerous in the wide areas and we had good possession. We had a couple of excellent chances to win the game and we need to get shots on goal in those moments.”
The game marked the third time Yale has found itself tied after 90 minutes. In the other two contests, neither the Elis nor their opponents managed to break the ties.
Yale initiated the game’s first offensive push, securing three corner kicks in the first 15 minutes, but failed to convert any of the chances into goals. After those corner kicks, Yale’s offense slowed and the Lions were able to capitalize, earning a penalty kick off a handball in the box in the 30th minute. In his first career start, Bulldog goalie Andrew Bortey ’20, was not able to save the penalty shot, as Tyron slotted it home.
The first half ended with the score 1–0 in Hartford’s favor.
Neither team was able to alter the scoreboard until 16 minutes into the second half, when midfielder Lucas Kirby ’19 sent a cross into the box and found a leaping Kyle Kenagy ’19, who smashed home a header inside of Hartford’s 6-yard box. The goal marked Kenagy’s second of the season, both of which he earned with the help of his forehead.
“Kyle is great in the air,” Kirby said. “He has incredible jumping ability and a tenaciousness and desire to get to the ball that can’t be taught. Whenever I spot him in the box, I try to do whatever I can to get him the ball.”
The momentum then rested at the feet of the Elis who, after coming from behind, were thirsty for a game-winning goal. However, that goal would never come, and as the clock dwindled down, both sides prepared for overtime. After the first 10-minute overtime and another seven minutes of extra time, it appeared as if Yale might tie its third game of the year.
With only two hours and 24 minutes left to play, Tyron was once again able to find the net, receiving the ball, skirting around the Yale defense and sending a shot into the left side-netting. With so little time remaining, the Bulldogs were unable to mount another game-tying rally.
Saturday’s game against Columbia is not only one of the final conference matches for the Elis, but also a contest in which Yale has struggled for years: The Elis have not beaten the Lions since Halloween 2009.
But changing script this year will be no easy task. The Lions have already secured an impressive nine wins, compared to Yale’s two, and beat two teams that the Bulldogs either tied or lost to.
In order to topple Columbia, the Bulldogs will, first and foremost, have to mitigate the effectiveness of junior forward Arthur Bosua, who leads the team with 11 points. Overall, Columbia’s offense has proven more effective than Yale’s, scoring more than half a goal more per game.
But the Elis have one advantage heading into Saturday’s contest — they play at home. The Lions 5–1 home record contrasts with a more middling 3–2–1 record on the road. Moreover, Saturday’s game will be the first home Ivy League game for Yale.
“Our next game is always our biggest game and the one we are focused on,” midfielder Nicky Downs ’19 said. “Whether a midweek out of conference game or an Ivy game, the preparation is the same. That said, we want to be especially ready to go by the weekend so that we stay in the hunt for the Ivy League.”
Yale will play at 7 p.m. on Friday.