Yale Athletics

After dropping their first game of the season last weekend against the University of Pennsylvania, the Bulldogs (6–1–3, 1–1–0 Ivy) hit the road this weekend and brought home two wins.

On Saturday, the Blue and White traveled to New Jersey to earn a 3–1 victory in their second conference match against Princeton University (4–4–1, 1–1–0 Ivy ) at Roberts Stadium. The Elis then packed their bags and laced their cleats once again to play the University of Massachusetts, Lowell (2–7–3, 0–2–1 AEC) on Tuesday, shutting them out in a 3–0 game.

Head coach Kylie Stannard did not think that the Bulldogs changed much about their play style between the Penn loss and the two recent wins. 

“Not too much has changed between any of our games,” Stannard told the News. “I think the Penn game was a good opportunity for us to refocus on some important fundamentals and core values of who we are. Ultimately, our game depends on defending well in our penalty area and making plays in our opponents’ penalty area, and we have done that better the past couple of games.”

The Bulldogs entered the match hungry for victory this weekend, resulting in a triumph over the Ivy League’s defending champions. Senior Paolo Carroll ’23 scored twice, and junior Kahveh Zahiroleslam ’24 scored once. 

The first goal came early in the first half, when Carroll found himself with the ball right in front of the goal after a deflection. One-on-one with the goalie, Carroll was able to put it into the net. The assist came from defender Jeremy Haddock ’23. This was Carroll’s sixth goal of the season, but not his last of the game.

In the second half, Carroll converted his fourth penalty kick of the season after Zahiroleslam got pulled down in the box. The São Paulo native has yet to miss on a penalty so far.

Zahiroleslam later returned the favor as Carroll drew a foul in the box, allowing Zahiroleslam to score a penalty kick at 55:16. This was his third goal in conference play.

“The energy for Princeton was great, because the team knew we needed to bounce back from the previous game,” TJ Presthus ’25 said. “There was so much positivity and desire from the guys, which was a lot of fun to be a part of.”

Princeton then proceeded to shatter Yale’s shutout with a goal at the 57:41 mark by Daniel Diaz Bonilla. Despite this, goalie Elian Haddock ’23 recorded 10 saves that night, many coming as the Tigers increased the pressure during the last minutes.

Since 2008, Princeton has the upper hand with seven wins to Yale’s five. Last season, the Bulldogs lost to Princeton 0–1 in the last game of the season, and the Tigers were crowned Ivy League champions. This season has started on a different note, however, as the Bulldogs are ranked just outside the top 25 while the Tigers have struggled to get over .500. 

“It was a statement win in conference play and gave us a big boost going into UMass Lowell,” Presthus said.

Three days later, the Blue and White arrived in Lowell, Massachusetts, to face a UMass team with just two wins on the season. 

The Bulldogs showed their might right from the start, with midfielder Quanah Brayboy ’25 putting them ahead 1–0 in the third minute of the game, his first ever goal for the team. 

In an odd sequence of events, defender Sigfus Arnason ’23 fired a cross into the center of a box in the direction of Carroll, who collided with a UMass defender and tumbled to the turf before the ball could reach him. Still sprawled on the ground, the ball deflected off of Carroll’s body, right into the path of Brayboy on the edge of the box, who slotted it past both a prostrated Carroll and the UMass keeper. 

Yale continued to put the pressure on the River Hawks, controlling possession and threatening to score on multiple occasions. UMass goalkeeper Jacob Heihsel kept his team in the game, making three big saves in the first half. 

The 1–0 score at halftime did not reflect Yale’s dominance in the first period of play, with UMass constantly backed into its defensive half and failing to register a single shot on goal. 

UMass remained optimistic heading into the second half, with their Twitter account posting a graphic of the halftime score with the caption, “Looking to make a comeback in the second half.”

A second yellow card for UMass midfielder Mauro Fernandez just two minutes into the second half quickly shattered all hope, however, as it gave the Bulldogs a one-man advantage for the rest of the match. 

Shortly thereafter, defender Jeremy Haddock ’23 seemed to be in perfect position to double Yale’s lead off a free kick, but Heihsel somehow kept Haddock’s headed attempt out with a diving save. 

The Blue and White finally managed to break through in the 72nd minute, when forward Alex Umana ’26 headed home the first goal of his career off midfielder Max Roger ’25’s corner kick. 

Umana, a four-star prospect out of Lincoln, Nebraska, who also has represented the El Salvadorian U20 national team in international play, was proud to bag his first career goal.

“It feels great to finally get my first goal for the team,” Umana said. “It’s really hard to put into words how it feels exactly but I just feel proud. I’m hoping to get many more by the end of the year but it’s a great start.”

Midfielder Olivier Van Spaendonck ’25 put the nail in the coffin in the 86th minute, drowning the River Hawks with a hard left-footed shot in the box that screamed past the keeper.

It was the first ever Yale goal for all three goalscorers. 

With the wins, Yale is now third in the Ivy League standings and has a regained sense of confidence heading into its next fixtures. 

“Both of those wins are huge,” Umana said. “It really helps keep us on a roll so that we can win the rest of our games and hopefully win the Ivy League. We are all happy with the way we have been performing and are excited to play Dartmouth this weekend.”

The squad will head to Hanover, New Hampshire, this Saturday as they play Dartmouth on the road. Since 2008, Yale has not managed to win on Dartmouth’s Burnham Field.

Toia Conde Rodrigues da Cunha is the News' Instagram editor. Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, she is studying cognitive science as sophomore. Toia is also a staff reporter for the Sports desk and was a staff photographer.
Ben Raab covers faculty and academics at Yale and writes about the Yale men's basketball team. Originally from New York City, Ben is a sophomore in Pierson college pursuing a double major in history and political science.