Following a decisive 2–0 loss to in-state rival Connecticut, the Yale men’s soccer team returned to Reese Stadium for a Saturday night contest against Brown. But after 110 minutes of play, neither side could find the back of the net, extending the Elis’ winless streak to four. Yale has won just one game since Sept. 23.
After honoring the team’s three seniors — midfielders Archie Kinnane ’18, Theo Miller ’18 and Josh Totte ’18 — the Bulldogs (4–9–2, 1–3–2 Ivy) fought off Brown (8–5–3, 2–2–2) to a 0–0 draw on a cold November night. But Saturday’s game did not lack for action, as the two teams combined for 31 shots.
“The game against Brown was far more exciting than the 0–0 scoreline reflects,” forward John Leisman ’20 said. “We created some very good chances and locked things down defensively. Although we’re disappointed that we couldn’t snag a late winner, the result is still positive for our team.”
Yale’s senior class of three is its smallest in recent memory, but the trio of Kinnane, Miller and Totte have had a large impact on the program in the last few years. The three seniors have started a combined 121 games during their four-year career in New Haven.
The seniors have also seen their fair share of disappointment while at Yale, as the team has won just nine games in the last four years. Leisman said the trio has endured a lot of adversity in recent years and left the program in a better place moving forward.
“I’m incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with and coach our three seniors, and I am really going to miss their amazing level of commitment, trust and loyalty,” head coach Kylie Stannard said. “They have always put the program first and they have helped improve the culture and mentality of our program more than they realize now and more than what the results show. We are really going to miss having them around on the field and I’m really going to miss their individual personalities off the field.”
Yale narrowly edged Brown in shots, firing off 16 compared to the Bears’ 15. The 16 Eli attempts represented Yale’s longest profile since a 1–0 victory over Saint Joseph’s in late September. Since then, the Bulldogs have won just one of their last eight games.
Although Yale has not scored a goal in its last three games, the Bulldogs looked more intimidating in its offense efforts than in recent games. The Elis also took 10 corner kicks throughout the game. Yale’s offensive energy was the result of a cohort of Bulldogs. Midfielder Miguel Yuste ’20 led the pack with five shots, with eight other Elis also taking chances at a game-winning goal in a game of aggressive offense and stingy defense.
Yale’s best chance at putting a tally on the scoreboard came in the final 10 minutes of regulation play when Yuste’s shot from the top of the box was just high of the crossbar, frustratingly similar to his deflection off the crossbar against Columbia.
Meanwhile, the well-matched Brown offense was spearheaded by seniors Quinn English and Nico Lozada, who together accounted for four of Brown’s five shots on goal. Brown’s offense came out of the locker room with an additional spark. The Bears took 11 shots in the second half but could not find the net.
Both goalkeepers maintained clean sheets despite facing barrages of shots. Yale goalkeeper Andrew Bortey ’20 made his third career start and second of the season against the Bears. The New Jersey native had a grand total of five saves, one of which came in spectacular fashion when Bortey leaped into the air and contorted his body to deflect a blast from Lozada over the crossbar early on in the second half. In the last two games, Bortey has saved a combined 11 shots, the most in a two-game span all season. His stellar goalkeeping led the Bulldogs to their fifth shutout all year and was a career first for Bortey.
Brown’s goalkeeper Joey Cipicchio was spectacular as well, making five blocks in his sixth shutout of the season. Cipicchio ranks third in the Ivy League in shutouts. After his strong performance Saturday night, Cipicchio also ranks second in save percentage.
In overtime, each team took two more tries at goal but all came up fruitless. Yuste put a chance on frame in the final minute of the first overtime, and Kenagy had an opportunity with two minutes to play in the second overtime, but both were saved by Cipicchio. When the final whistle sounded, both teams walked off the field without a goal.
“We were just a bit unlucky in those final moments,” Yuste said. “We dominated and had the better chances so now we can only focus on materializing those chances next weekend against Princeton to finish on a positive note.”
Going into the final match of the season, Yale’s five points places sixth in the league, tied with Harvard. Brown is tied for third with eight points alongside Princeton, Yale’s final opponent of the year.
Yale will conclude its season against the Tigers at 4 p.m. on Saturday. With a victory, the Bulldogs will improve to five wins on the year, their most since 2011.
Cate Sawkins | firstname.lastname@example.org
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