Courtesy of Musco Sports Photos

Faced with two tough road games, Yale men’s soccer (4–0–2, 0–0 Ivy) extended its unbeaten streak to six games with wins over Marquette (4–3–0, 0–0 Big East) Saturday night and Stony Brook (3–5–0, 1–2 CAA) Tuesday evening. 

After a slow start to the year, the Bulldogs seem to have found their form over the past two weeks. Head coach Kylie Stannard spoke about the team’s resilience after starting the year with two tough draws.

“We didn’t get some things to go our way the first couple games, but we have had a good run the past three games,” Stannard told the News. 

Entering the match against Marquette on a two game win streak, including a road win over then No. 23 West Virginia, Yale looked to apply pressure early. Their efforts were rewarded as defender Sigfus Arnason 23 capitalized on a Marquette error to put the Bulldogs up 1–0. 

Arnason took advantage of a ball that deflected off the foot of a Marquette defender in the box, poking it in with a nifty left-footed finish from close range. 

Yale remained ahead at the end of the first half, in part due to goalkeeper Elian Haddock ’23’s flying save in the twentieth minute. Haddock, last year’s Ivy League defensive player of the year, reacted quickly to Beto Soto’s shot from distance, lifting it over the goal with an outstretched right hand. 

Haddock and his twin brother Jeremy Haddock ’23, also a 2021 first-team All-Ivy selection, both grew up in Whitefish, Wisconsin, a town just 10 minutes away from Marquette. 

“I did middle school and high school in Milwaukee and very much consider Wisconsin home. Being able to win in front of all of my old friends and family was super special, and by far one of the highlights of my four years as a Yale men’s soccer player,” Jeremy Haddock said.

The second half remained close, with each team converting a penalty kick in the opening 10 minutes. Forward Kahveh Zahiroleslam ’24, who was subbed on at the half, scored for Yale. 

Just when Yale’s lead looked safe, Marquette scored with a second penalty kick after a hard foul in the box, tying the score at 2–2 in the 80th minute.

Intensity on the ball and aggressive play from both sides made for an exciting final 10 minutes. Marquette, perhaps a little too aggressive, gave Yale a golden opportunity to take the lead after goalkeeper Chandler Hallwood was sent off with a red card for a hard foul. Forward Paolo Carroll ’23 then came up big from the penalty spot, putting the Elis up 3–2. 

Playing against a shorthanded Marquette for the final minutes, Yale managed to hang on and secure the victory. Stannard acknowledged the back-and-forth nature of the game and praised his team for its resilience.

This game definitely had even more ebbs and flows than normal,” Stannard said, “I was really pleased with how we responded after each time we conceded the equalizer. The guys had belief they would get another one back which shows the confidence and maturity of this group.” 

On Tuesday, looking to continue their success against a struggling Stony Brook squad, Yale picked up right where they left off, once again taking a 1–0 lead in the opening 10 minutes after Carroll netted his fourth goal of the season. 

As the Bulldogs looked poised to pick up another victory, Stony Brook came out strong in the second half. In the 55th minute, Seawolves forward Trausti Birgisson gathered the ball and shifted away from his defender, then beat Haddock with an impressive curling shot from distance. 

Six minutes later, Jonas Bickus gave Stony a 2–1 lead, scoring off a long pass into the box that drew Haddock out of net. 

Looking to change the momentum, Stannard made three quick substitutions, and less than two minutes later, the Bulldogs equalized off of a spectacular header by defender TJ Presthus ’25. 

Fighting to take back the lead, Yale got its chance in the waning moments of the game when Zahiroleslam fired a shot from his forward position across goal that was deflected by the keeper, right into the path of star senior striker Carroll, who tapped in the game-winning goal and was mobbed by the rest of the team afterwards. 

“We managed to stay in the game and counted on a big play from [Zahiroleslam] to get us the game-winning goal in the final moments. It was not the most beautiful game, but we found a way to get the win,” Carroll said.

Remarkably, Yale has now strung together four straight wins despite having fewer shots on goal than the opponent in every single one of their victories. In fact, Yale has been out-shot in every game this season since the home opener, in which, ironically, they outshot Saint Francis 21–4 but settled for a 1–1 draw. 

Close games have been the strength for the Bulldogs so far, with every single match being decided by a single goal or less. 

“I am definitely proud of the grit and fight to close the last couple games out,” Stannard said. “These are the types of games we will have in the Ivy League.”

As the October 1 Ivy League opener against Penn approaches, Yale is beginning to make a name for itself on the national level. In the most recent update of the NCAA Division 1 men’s soccer rankings, which came before the win against Stony Brook, Yale received six top 25 votes from the United Soccer Coaches weekly rankings. The Bulldogs have never had a top 25 finish in the program’s history. 

The men’s soccer season has certainly started with a bang, and Yale students are beginning to take notice. Chris Gumina ’26 is excited about the team’s early success. 

“Coming into Yale, I was honestly only expecting to care about football and basketball. But after four straight wins, the soccer team has gotten my attention. I can’t wait for the Ivy League opener on October 1,” said Gumina. 

Yale will face their biggest test of the season as they now prepare for an away matchup against seventh-ranked Duke on September 27.

BEN RAAB