MEN’S SOCCER: Bulldogs finish season strong
Coming off a slew of disappointing results, the Bulldogs bounced back with a draw vs No. 14 Cornell and a win vs Brown to close out their season.
The Yale men’s soccer team (7–4–5, 2–3–2 Ivy) played the final two games of their season schedule this week, picking up a draw against Cornell University (13–3–1, 5–1–1) and a win against Brown University (8–6–3, 0-4–3).
Despite coming short of their Ivy League title ambitions, the Bulldogs remained hopeful that they could secure an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
“While we have battled through a lot of injuries over the last several weeks, there is no question this team is an NCAA tournament-caliber team,” head coach Kylie Stannard told Yale Athletics. “Our entire body of work shows our level, so I am hopeful that the NCAA Tournament Committee considers us in their conversation for an at-large bid, and especially with the Ivy League being a top-five ranked conference this year.”
Against Cornell, a team ranked 16th in the nation coming into the match, the Elis showed their mettle with forward Paolo Carroll ’23 starting the scoring in the sixth minute. Midfielder Sam Harshe ’25 gathered the ball at the edge of the box and lobbed it over a couple Big Red defenders into the path of Carroll, who slammed it in from close range.
The Brazilian, set to graduate this spring, will finish as one of the top 10 goalscorers in program history.
Cornell later tied the game on a penalty kick in the 15th minute after a hard foul in the box. Star goalkeeper Elian Haddock ’23 kept his composure to keep the score even going into halftime with a fantastic double save in the 40th minute, charging out of the box to disrupt a shot and then diving backwards to deflect a follow-up attempt.
The game remained deadlocked through the second half, ending in a well-fought draw. Carroll had a chance to win it in the 80th minute when he found himself on a breakaway opportunity, but his shot went straight to the Cornell keeper.
The result marked the continuation of a season-long trend in which Yale exceeded expectations in a game against a higher-ranked team. In non-conference play earlier in the season, the Bulldogs won three in a row vs Marquette, Villanova and No. 10 West Virginia, while playing to a draw against No. 4 Duke.
On the other hand, the Elis have struggled to take care of business against lower-tier teams, dropping important Ivy League matches against Harvard University and Dartmouth College while settling for a draw against Columbia University, a team that has gone winless in conference play.
“These last two games, we played with a bit more desire and humility,” defender Jeremy Haddock ‘23 told the News. “All of our losses in league play came down to very fine margins. I think we’re good enough to beat anyone in the country, and tying No. 2 Duke on the road with 10 men proved that. Where I think we have faltered this season is in our consistency.”
Saturday’s game against last-place Brown got off to a shaky start, as the Bulldogs failed to score in the first half and then surrendered a goal in the 62nd minute off of a penalty kick.
But Yale quickly responded four minutes later, as midfielder Max Rogers ’25 whipped in a cross to Haddock who headed the ball in to make it 1-1.
With two minutes left to play, Carroll crossed it into the path of forward Eric Lagos ’24 who headed home the game winning goal.
Yale, sitting in fifth place, was not awarded an at-large bid by the selection committee on Monday. Penn received an automatic bid as the Ivy League winners, and Cornell received the Ivy League’s only at-large bid. Per the Ivy League’s social media account, the conference ended the season as the fourth-strongest in the NCAA. This is the Bulldogs worst finish since 2018.
Haddock, set to graduate in December, reflected on his Yale career after the game.
“I arrived at Yale with no confidence — playing both soccer and life not to lose rather than to win, and through countless hard sessions, and laughs, and trials and triumphs, and fights and tears, I learned that self-belief can move mountains, and that strong teams can move the earth. I’ll support Yale men’s soccer until the end.”dd
Haddock is one of seven seniors on the team graduating this year: the others are Elian Haddock, Carroll, Jules Oberg ’23, Sigfus Arnason ’23, William Seidman ’23 and Thomas Toney ’23.