MEN’S SOCCER: Bulldogs draw Penn in first Ivy League road game
After tying Penn 0–0 on Saturday night, the Yale men’s soccer team has yet to concede a goal in conference play this season.
The Yale men’s soccer team posted its fourth straight Ivy shutout in a 0–0 tie against the University of Pennsylvania on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs (5–4–4, 2–0–2 Ivy) traveled to Philadelphia for their first Ivy League away game. With the tie to the Quakers (7–3–3, 1–1–2 Ivy), Yale now sits in third in the Ivy standings, trailing Princeton and Cornell by four points and one point, respectively. Penn outshot the Elis 19–14 in the contest, but the Bulldogs held a 4–3 shot advantage in the two overtime periods. Although the Blue and White have not lost in Ancient Eight play, it will look to earn three points in each of its final three games to contend for a spot in postseason play. Yale’s road contests continue this weekend with a Saturday night game against Columbia.
“It’s been a really good defensive performance from everyone so far in the league,” keeper Elian Haddock ’23 said. “Hats off to the guys in the back line. They’ve been tremendous in making sure we keep a zero on the board every game. Despite our strong defensive showing, I think we could do an even better job not allowing shots and giving ourselves more of a break when we’re in possession. The next three games will be a good test for us both offensively and defensively.”
The Bulldogs entered Saturday’s contest on a full week of rest after their midweek non conference matchup against Stony Brook was canceled. In a statement, Yale Athletics cited “non-COVID related health concerns” as the reason for the cancellation.
Saturday’s game against Penn was marked by a strong Yale defense that weathered 10 corner kicks and 19 shots over the 110 minutes of play. The Quakers put early pressure on the Bulldogs, forcing Haddock to make an agile save less than four minutes into the game. A flurry of shots continued through the first half, with Haddock tallying three more saves over the period.
Yale’s offense struggled to create many chances on target throughout the first half. The Bulldogs did not record a shot on goal until the 29th minute when forward Paolo Carroll ’23 headed a ball in the direction of Penn keeper Dane Jacomen. Heading into the second half, Penn led Yale in shots 6–3.
The second half saw more offensive production from both teams as the Elis and Quakers recorded eight and 11 shots, respectively. Of Penn’s 11 shots in the frame, Haddock was only forced to make two saves as strong pressure from the Yale defense limited attempts on target. The Bulldogs’ best chance to score came in the 73rd minute, as a corner kick from defender Gelber Lemus ’25 set up Carroll directly in front of the goal. Carroll headed the ball, which narrowly missed and deflected off the crossbar.
The scoreless game continued into two overtime periods, where the Elis put more pressure on the Quaker defense. Midfielder Kai Moos ’24 almost found the back of the net in the last minutes of the first overtime period, forcing another save from Jacomen. The standstill continued into double overtime, with the final whistle blowing on a 0–0 game.
“The focus heading into the last few weeks is just taking it one day at a time. We need to get better each day and focus only on what’s immediately in front of us,” Moos said. “To achieve our goals we have to stick together and keep focusing on the details to ensure that we are doing everything in our power to control the controllables.”
After a 1–0 win against No. 24 Cornell last week, the Bulldogs swept the Ivy weekly awards, with Haddock winning Ivy Player of the Week and forward Kahveh Zahiroleslam ’24 notching Rookie of the Week for the second time this season.
The Elis will hit the road again this weekend to take on Columbia in New York. The Lions are currently seventh in the Ivy League standings. In their last matchup in November 2019, the Bulldogs triumphed in a 2–0 win.
As the Blue and White head into their final three games of the season, they must search for victories as opposed to ties. Princeton — Yale’s final opponent in the regular season — remains undefeated and currently sits atop the league standings.
“Our goal is still to win the Ivy League title, but with it a little out of our control now, we are focusing on doing what we can — capturing nine points in our last three games,” defender Jake Schaffer ’24 said. “We can hope that other teams drop points, but that doesn’t matter if we don’t take care of business these last three games. We’re treating every game like it’s our last.”
Yale and Columbia kick off on Saturday at 7 p.m.