The Yale men’s soccer team confidently bagged its fifth consecutive victory on Monday evening with an emphatic win against Central Connecticut State. With a 4–0 shutout, it was their biggest margin of victory so far in a season that has already been their most dominant in 17 years.
The week of rest — following victories over Fairfield and Stony Brook on home turf — posed a test to the Bulldogs (5–0–2, 0–0–0 Ivy), who were determined to sustain their strong early season form on their trip to CCSU (0–6–1, 0–1–0 Northeast). While Yale came into the game on a high, it was a different narrative for the Blue Devils, who had lost five of their opening six games. The Elis, however, refused to be complacent as they completely outclassed their opponents and in the process managed to achieve their third consecutive clean sheet.
“We’ve approached today’s match like we’ve done every game this season — treated it like the last one on the schedule,” midfielder Enzo Okpoye ’22 said. “We set the tempo for the game from kickoff, playing at a high level of intensity, and it yielded quick results.”
The contest was a show of ruthlessness by the Bulldogs, with the team wasting no time in asserting their dominance. Captain and midfielder Miguel Yuste ’20 converted a pass from striker Paolo Carroll ’22 in the seventh minute. The efficiency of the side proved too much for Central Connecticut, as forward Aldo Quevedo ’21 struck twice in the space of less than ten minutes. Before the Blue Devils had any time to recover, Okpoye compounded their woes to score his first career goal for Yale just three minutes after Quevedo.
The Elis went into the break four goals up and dominating the game in every attacking statistic. By half time, they had 12 shots to Central Connecticut’s two, and five corners to a solitary one. In addition, Yuste’s strike marked his fifth goal of the season, while midfielder Mark Winhoffer ’21 got a hat trick of assists, taking his tally for the 2019 campaign to seven.
“We are ready and hungry for more,” Winhoffer said. “We have the mentality of winning everything, whether it’s practice, a game or a recovery day. It’s great to be leading in any category but leading in assists is a testament to how well my teammates are finishing the ball. They are putting themselves in great places and their finishing has been class.”
Despite giving an all-out attacking display in the first half, Yale proved that they were also defensively sound after the break. Although the Bulldogs offense still knocked on the Blue Devils’ door with numerous chances, it was the defense that stayed focused as shots late on from midfielder Ryan Radwon and forward Emmanuel Yeboah tested their mettle.
Overall, however, this was a game that seriously showcased the Elis’ credentials, proving that their early season momentum wasn’t an accident. At full time, Yale had 21 shots to five, with goalkeepers Elian Haddock ’22 and Tom Wallenstein ’21 only making one save between them.
“I’m really happy with our mentality from the start,” head coach Kylie Stannard told Yale Athletics. “This wasn’t an easy game, and the guys were determined and focused for the full 90 minutes. It was a complete team effort, and I’m happy to get contributions from so many guys.”
Later this week all eyes turn to the highly anticipated Harvard game, which will see the Bulldogs play host to the Crimson at Reese Stadium on Friday at 7 p.m.
Syimyk Kyshtoobaev | firstname.lastname@example.org
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