After losing their momentum in a 4–1 defeat to Penn last weekend, the Yale men’s soccer team traveled to New York only to lose a close 1–0 match to last year’s Ivy League co-champions, the Columbia Lions.
The Bulldogs (4–8–1, 1–3–1 Ivy) battled Columbia (8–2–3, 3–1–1 Ivy) on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium, which marked their fifth conference matchup of the season. The Lions, who have lost only two games in this year’s campaign, continued their stellar play, scoring the game’s only goal in the 33rd minute. Despite putting pressure on Columbia’s defense and outshooting the Lions 10–7, the Elis couldn’t score an equalizer and left New York with their third conference loss of the season.
“The overall performance versus Columbia was impressive in the fact that we completely dominated a top-25 team in the second half,” midfielder Mark Winhoffer ’21 said. “Though unlucky on multiple occasions, we need to find a way to finish and put the game away. We are looking to close the season on a winning note.”
Despite the rainy conditions at Sunday’s game, the Columbia offense set the tone for the match right away, knocking off a shot in the first seven seconds with two more to follow in the first nine minutes. The Lions forced goalkeeper Tom Wallenstein ’21 to make his first save of the game just under five minutes in, when a Columbia header approached the goal. The Lions offense would keep up this blistering pressure in the first half, shooting six of their seven shots of the game in the first 45 minutes.
However, the Bulldogs adjusted and put on their own offensive pressure as well, matching Columbia’s six shots for the first half. Yale’s best chance to score came in the 23rd minute from midfielder Miguel Yuste ’20, when his shot deflected off the crossbar. Instead, it would be Columbia with the first goal 10 minutes later. Off a long cross from Blake Willis, Columbia’s John Denis served teammate Beto Carillo, who put it in the back of the net for his first goal of the season and the only goal in Sunday’s game.
The Bulldogs surged out of the halftime break looking to score an equalizing goal, outshooting Columbia 4–1 in the final 45 minutes of play. Despite looking much more confident than the Lions, Yale couldn’t seem to find the back of the net.
The match-up against Columbia proved to be a tough one, as the Lions boast some of the best forwards in the league and the leading goalkeeper, Dylan Castanheira. The Columbia offense is spearheaded by senior forward Arthur Bosua. After earning Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year in 2016, Bosua’s 18 points leads the conference, with seven goals and four assists. He is also tied for the position of top goal scorer in the league despite having played in fewer games than his competitors.
The Columbia offense is also buoyed by midfielder and forward John Denis, who is ranked third in the league in shots per games played; midfielder and forward Dylan Mott, who is ranked third in game-winning goals; and midfielder Beto Carillo, who is also ranked ninth in the league in assists per game.
Led by Castanheira, the Columbia defense is similarly strong. The goalkeeper leads the Ancient Eight in three out of four of the goalie categories, with eight shutouts, a .854 save-percentage and a .439 goals-against average.
The game was particularly challenging for the Bulldogs, who played without three of their normal starters due to injury or illness: midfielder and captain Archie Kinnane ’18, midfielder and defender Theo Miller ’18 and defender Cameron Riach ’19. However, despite that setback, the Yale defense allowed only seven shots against Columbia having allowed four goals against Penn the weekend before.
“I was happy [we got] a few good shots on goal, including hitting the crossbar,” head coach Kylie Stannard said. “Most of the others needed to be placed a little better away from the keeper, but [Castanheira] also did very well not to leave any rebounds.”
With the conclusion of Sunday’s game, Columbia now ranks second in the league with ten points, just three points behind first-place Dartmouth. Yale’s four points ties the team for seventh along with Penn, with just two Ivy League games left on the schedule.
The Elis will travel to Storrs on Tuesday for a matchup against Connecticut at 7 p.m.
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