After two tremendous showings versus UConn and Niagara, the Yale men’s soccer team returns home for games against Fairfield on Wednesday and Stony Brook on Saturday. Yale remains unbeaten through four games, but the Elis will be tested against two tough out-of-conference opponents this week.
The Bulldogs (2–0–2, 0–0–0 Ivy) face Fairfield (1–1–2, 0–0–0 MAAC) and Stony Brook (1–3–1, 0–0–0 America East) in two pivotal early-season fixtures at Reese Stadium. The Bulldogs have looked impressive early on and are riding a two-game winning streak into the Wednesday clash against the Stags. Following the pair of matches, the Elis have one final non-Ivy match remaining before they kick off Ancient Eight play in October.
“I’m happy to have finally got on the score sheet but the most important thing is that we were able to get the win, especially after going down 1–0,” striker Paolo Carroll ’22 said. “The team did great in the second half and scored three goals. Now we focus on getting the win against Fairfield on Wednesday.”
A loss to Fairfield in 2018 was disheartening for the Yale side so early in the season. The Stags jumped all over the Bulldogs and took the match 2–1. The result was not all negative though, as Carroll netted his first collegiate goal in the fixture. It was also the first start in net for goalkeeper Elian Haddock ’22, who is still acclimating to the speed of the college game.
The Elis appear eager to avenge last year’s frustration versus the Stags. Midfield maestro Mark Winhoffer ’21 was recently named the Ivy League player of the week. Winhoffer contributed four points in the Bulldogs’ first two games against Colgate and Syracuse and continued to be proficient last week, scoring and assisting against Niagara to spur Yale’s comeback victory. The Elis’ strikers are getting into form as well, with Carroll and forward Aldo Quevedo ’21 each scoring for the first time this year in the Niagara game.
“Fairfield is an opponent that may not command as much immediate respect as a Colgate or a Syracuse and that makes them dangerous,” forward D.J. Palmer ’21 said. “We have to approach this game with the same professionalism and mentality. Fairfield is our biggest challenge because they are our next challenge.”
Fairfield has endured an exhausting stretch of games to open its 2018 season. The Stags drew in double overtime against Rhode Island in its first game and followed that up with an 1–0 overtime victory against Saint Joseph’s before proceeding to draw Stony Brook 2–2 in double overtime as well. Forward Fernando Robayo has been impressive so far for Fairfield, with two goals on six shots. The only other players to score for the Stags are midfielder Matt McGlinchey and defender Daniel Raimondo.
Stony Brook has had a rough start to its 2019 campaign, having lost three of its opening four fixtures while only grabbing their first win against Siena on Friday. With the Bulldogs’ last game against the Seawolves ending in a 4–1 victory in 2008, Yale will look to compile further misery onto Stony Brook’s season.
By avoiding defeat in all four of its games so far, Yale is off to its most successful start to a season since 2005. With Stony Brook’s defense leaking 11 goals in five games, the Elis will be looking to the likes of Winhoffer and Carroll to exploit this weakness and continue their early-season momentum.
One redeeming positive for the Seawolves, however, is the performance of striker Jarred Dass. Netting three of Stony Brook’s five goals on the season, the senior presents a potential threat to the Bulldogs’ defense. In addition, fellow senior and midfield playmaker Mark Irvine provided key assists against both Fairfield and Siena.
“Going into the next two games we hope to keep the momentum we’ve built from the first four matches,” said forward Logan Sullivan ’22. “We’ve had a great start so far but it won’t mean that much if we don’t get results from our games this week.”
Yale will play both of its games this week at Reese Stadium, with Fairfield visiting on Sept. 18 and Stony Brook playing on Sept. 21. Both games kick off at 7 p.m.
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