Tag Archive: M. Soccer

  1. M. SOCCER | Soccer archrivals to meet in Cambridge

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    The match of the year is finally around the corner, as Yale and its archrival Harvard will compete tomorrow in Boston to signal the kickoff of the Ivy League season.

    “A win on the road against our biggest rival would be an amazing way to start our Ivy League season,” defender Nick Alers ’14 said.

    After doubling up Marist but falling to No.2 soccer powerhouse UConn, the Bulldogs nevertheless have been showing some excellent form at both ends of the field against strong foes. Although the Elis (3-4-2) are halfway through the season, they have not met any of the Ivy League teams yet.

    “After the loss to Connecticut, I think everyone on the team is very motivated to go into Cambridge and get a win,” Alers added.

    Looking at last year’s Ivy season performances, the Elis took fifth place and the Crimson ended up at the bottom of the league.

    Harvard (1-5-1) has been going through a rough season, with a total of five goals on 75 shots. In its games against California Poly and U.C. Santa Barbara, the Crimson suffered two consecutive losses, 2-1 and 1-0, respectively. Harvard was also humiliated in a 6-0 shutout against UConn, whereas Yale held off the regional powerhouse and lost by only a two-goal margin. In last year’s game, the Bulldogs defeated the Crimson 1-0, with last year’s captain Chris Dennen ’12 scoring the game sealer in the first half.

    “Last year’s match was a lot of fun,” Alers said. He added it was a physical and competitive game.

    Although Harvard overwhelmed Yale in terms of the shots alone (19-7), it failed to score goals. Captain and goalkeeper Bobby Thalman ’13 turned the Crimson’s eight goal-scoring chances into disappointments and played a crucial role in shutting out Harvard. Unfortunately for the Elis, Dennen, Charlie Paris ’12, Charlie Neil ’12 and Max Morice ’15, who were pivotal in the victory, will not be returning to help repeat the feat. But new players such as forward Mitch Wagner ’16, defender Pablo Espinola ’16 and forward Avery Schwartz ’16 have stepped up recently, taking up influential roles.

    “The biggest difference between our team last year and our team this year is that I think we will try to possess the ball a little bit more this year than we did last year,” Alers said.

    There are, however, some dangerous players that the Bulldogs have to watch out for within the Crimson’s lineup. Crimson forward Zack Wolfenzon scored a goal against California Poly and has recorded a total of 16 shots so far this season. Freshman Jake Freeman scored a goal against Michigan State and has 11 shots to his name this season. Harvard also has two freshman goalkeepers. Joe Festa has made 16 saves, while Evan Mendez has recorded 14 saves so far. On the other hand, Yale’s Thalman has started in all nine games this season, making 41 saves with a percentage of 0.837 and achieving four shutouts.

    Yale has also recorded a total of five goals this season. Forward Scott Armbrust ’14, forward Jenner Fox ’14, forward Peter Jacobson ’14, midfielder Conner Lachenbruch ’15 and midfielder Kevin Michalak ’15 have contributed one apiece.

    “Our goal this Saturday defensively is to stay disciplined, to provide strong cover for each other and to defend as a team,” Alers said. ”Offensively, we want to move the ball quickly and make incisive runs through their defense.” He added if such strategies work correctly, the team wll have a great chance to beat Harvard on the road.

    Taking their first step to grab the Ancient Eight throne, the Elis will face Harvard at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

  2. M. SOCCER | Bulldogs fall to No. 2 powerhouse

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    The University of Connecticut, ranked second in the nation, snapped Yale’s undefeated streakwith a 2–0 shutout Tuesday.

    Despite demonstrating good form with increased ball possession and a high-pressure defense, the Bulldogs (3–4–2) were not able to break through the tight defensive wall of Connecticut’s national soccer powerhouse.

    “Although they were a very good team, it was unfortunate for us to give up two goals,” said captain and goalkeeper Bobby Thalman ’13, who made four saves in the game.

    UConn (8–0–1) started off strong. Just 10 minutes after the kickoff, forward Stephen Diop rifled a shot just near the rear of the opponents’ goalposts, but Thalman waved it off. For the next 10 minutes, the visitors took to the offensive and were able to take three consecutive shots to shake up the hosts. UConn maintained control of the game for the first 20 minutes.

    Then after some effort to move deeper into the opponents’ zone, forward Conner Lachenbruch ’15 found an opening at 21:50, as he received a pass from midfielder Kevin Michalak ’15 and shrewdly tapped the ball 20 yards towards the goal.

    But the shrewd visiting keeper read Lachenbruch’s intent and quickly jumped up to wrestle the ball down.

    Thalman said the offensive line opened up numerous scoring opportunities, but he added that the players must learn to capitalize on their attempts.

    For the rest of the first half, the Bulldogs effectively shut down the visitors’ renewed offensive drive, with another memorable save from Thalman, but the hosts could not retaliate on offense. The game began to go awry for the Bulldogs just 10 minutes before the break.

    Smashing through Yale’s tight defense, Connecticut’s Allando Matheson maneuvered through the Elis defense and fired a shot that blazed past Thalman to bring the first half to a close with UConn up 1–0.

    In the next half, the Bulldogs played more aggressively on offense in an attempt to level the scoreboard. Forward Mitch Wagner ’16 made his first shot on target just two minutes into the half, but UConn defenders blocked the attempt.

    Ten minutes into the second half, the Elis again allowed UConn to get a shot on goal. Coming off an assist from Carlos Alvarez, Mamadou Diouf hammered the ball past Thalman’s glove tip and shook the back of the Yale net.

    “UConn is best for a reason, but I’m happy that we [held our own] in the second half well,” head coach Brian Tompkins said.

    The Bulldogs went all out offensively to make up for the two-goal deficit. Although forward Jenner Fox ’14 found a chance to score three minutes before the match was over, the visitors’ goalie once again made a quick cleanup of a shot that might have broken the shutout.

    “In the beginning we probably respected [UConn] too much, but then we started playing our game but were not lucky to catch a couple breaks,” Wilbar said.

    Elis recorded nine fewer shots (6–15) but blocked three more shots than UConn (4–1).

    Connecticut Public Broadcast Network showed the match on tape delay Tuesday night.

    Tompkins said the breakout performances from Wagner, midfielder Peter Ambiel ’15 and midfielder Tony Wilbar ’13 stood out as positive moments of the matchup to bring into Yale’s game against Harvard this Saturday.

    The Elis will travel to Boston this weekend to take on archrival Crimson and repeat last year’s victory. Tompkins said the Harvard game is all about confidence.

    “We are very excited since Ivy League matches are totally different,” Wilbar added. “We are looking forward to it and beating Harvard highlighted our team’s career.”

    Kickoff is slated for Saturday at 7 p.m.

  3. M. SOCCER | Yale looks to maintain momentum

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    The Elis will attempt to repeat last week’s sweep when they face Fordham and Marist this weekend.

    After demonstrating noticeable offensive strength last weekend, with a goal apiece from forwards Scott Armbrust ’14, Peter Jacobson ’14 and Jenner Fox ’14, the team appears fit and ready to take its third and fourth consecutive wins.

    “This weekend should be a good test for us to see if we can build off of the momentum we created for ourselves last weekend,” defender Nick Alers ’14 said. “We’ve had a short week of practices, but I think each practice has been very sharp.”

    The Bulldogs (2-3-1) will first face Fordham in Reese Stadium tonight. It has been more than 20 years since the two last faced off against each other.

    “Fordham is a team that tries to play good, attractive soccer,” Alers said. “That’s how we try to play too, so it should be a fun game.”

    Although the Rams (3-3-0) fell to Stony Brook in their last clash, they have scored 11 goals in total so far this season. They beat Brown, 1-0, two weeks ago, whereas the Bulldogs lost to the Bears by a 1-0 margin last year. The Rams’ player to watch is Finnish midfielder Kalle Sotka: Besides scoring two goals so far this season — including the game sealer against Brown — he is the team’s most important playmaker who not only shoots but also provides crucial assists.

    Although the Bulldogs will have home turf advantage, the Rams have not played a game since Sept. 14, giving them more time to recover.

    On Sunday, the Elis will make a trip to Marist (3-3-1) and attempt to repeat last season’s 7-0 shutout against the team.

    “Marist will remember the 7-0 pounding and will come out very hard against us,” forward Peter Ambiel ’15 said.

    In that game, Yale dominated the first half by tallying five goals, including a goal each from Jacobson, Fox and defender Milan Tica ’13. The Bulldogs added two more goals just for good measure in the second half, and Fox again contributed one of them.

    Alers said Marist has some good, athletic players, so Yale will have to play smart and take advantage of its opportunities.

    Although Yale undoubtedly controlled last year’s game, Marist recorded four more shots (22-18).

    The Red Foxes have scored ten goals so far this season and in their last game, they defeated the University of North Carolina-Asheville, 4-0.

    Yale should focus on marking forward Stephan Brossard, who has contributed a third of Marist’s total goals this season, along with three assists. He was also named to the First Team All-MAAC and the NSCAA Third Team All-North Atlantic Regional Team last year. Another player to watch is Evan Southworth, who has scored three goals for his team this season.

    The Bulldogs will maintain tactics from last weekend against their opponents.

    “We had some success with the Flying V formation last week, so I think the plan is definitely to stick with it for now,” Alers said.

    Ambiel added the team wants to play good, hard soccer and come out of the weekend with two wins heading into its game against Connecticut.

    The kick-off against Fordham is slated at 7 p.m. today at home. The Elis will take on Marist on Sunday at 1 p.m.

  4. M. SOCCER | Elis outclass local rivals, end goal drought

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    The Elis finally brought an end to their goal-free season and enjoyed a winning streak over the weekend against Connecticut rivals Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart.

    After four scoreless games, the Bulldogs (2–3–1) secured their first win of the season on Friday against Quinnipiac with a goal from forward Scott Armbrust ’14. On Sunday against Sacred Heart, the Elis pulled yet another shutout victory with goals from Jenner Fox ’14 and Peter Jacobson ’14.

    “The result definitely gives us confidence heading into our upcoming matches,” defender Nick Alers ’14 said. “We had been playing well the past several games, so it was great to see that good play [finally] translate into a win.”

    After four straight disappointing losses, the Bulldogs were determined to use the match against local rival Quinnipiac to signal Yale’s comeback as a formidable power for the rest of the season. Armbrust said Quinnipiac “came out flying” and was highly motivated to defeat Yale.

    Within five minutes after the kickoff, both teams exchanged a threatening shot apiece, both denied by the goalkeepers. Shortly after failing a goal attempt at 14:55, Yale forward Avery Schwartz ’16 created a chance for Armbrust to shoot from just outside the box at 17:41, which left the Bobcat goalie hopeless as the ball nicked the crossbar and angled into the net. It was the team’s long-awaited first goal of the season.

    “The goal meant a lot to the team, and of course me as well,” Armbrust said. “We have created many scoring opportunities but failed to execute the final shot, so it was definitely nice to reward our hard work with a goal and a win.”

    Scoring the first goal of the season is always tricky for the team, Armbrust said, but the goal will personally allow him to become more confident and, as as a result, more threatening.

    In an attempt to reverse the deficit, the Bobcats upped their aggression in the next 10 minutes and recorded four shots — two of them from Quinnipiac’s striker Philip Suprise — that were a bit too close for comfort for the Elis. Fortunately, they had captain Bobby Thalman ’13 to guard their posts. The keeper took out two dangerous on-target shots heading his way.

    “I thought we did well to keep Suprise in front of us and to force him into difficult situations,” Alers said.

    In the second half, both teams exchanged more powerful blows.

    Armbrust said Yale’s offense was good in finding holes in and behind Quinnipiac’s defense. Three minutes into the second half, the Elis missed a chance to put one more up on the scoreboard as Bobcat goalie Angoitia Borja blocked a lethal shot from forward Mitch Wagner ’16. After Wagner’s on-target attempt, the Bobcats retaliated with six consecutive shots to keep Thalman busy minding the goalposts. With the game drawing to a close, the Bulldogs closed out their last scoring attempt with forward Fox’s ’14 taking a shot that did not connect.

    “There were some tough moments in the second half, but we stayed organized, and Thalman was able to clean up anything that got past us,” Alers said. “Being the last man back, he can often see things that we can’t, so his communication helps us make sure we are organized.”

    He added Thalman did a great job of directing Yale’s line of defense.

    Thalman denied the Bobcats’ 10 scoring tries and played a significant role in the team’s victory. The match ended up becoming very offensive-oriented, with 35 shots recorded between the two teams. Following the Bobcats’ early goal deficit, they recorded nine more attempts than the Bulldogs. In the second half alone, Quinnipiac took twice as many shots as the Bulldogs did, with 12 to Yale’s six.

    The Elis proved that their victory on Friday was not just good luck when they took down Sacred Heart, 2–0, on Sunday at home.

    Head coach Brian Tompkins said tactical discipline and team effort helped the Elis secure the Sacred Heart win, a year after playing to a tie against the Pioneers. From the onset, the team went all out on offense.

    Yale recorded three shots in the first half, including an attempt by midfielder Kevin Michalak ’15. As the defensive line effectively tied down the opponents’ attacks, Yale’s offense moved more effectively. Then, at 24:19, forward Peter Jacobson ’14 dribbled past defenders and made a long forward pass to Fox. Fox connected with the pass and put the ball in the top of the goal. Only four minutes after the first goal, Fox again took a shot to shake up the visitors’ net, but it ended up going wide.

    Ten seconds before the first half ended, Yale almost gave a goal away when Sacred Heart striker Joshua Mathews found an opening and took a shot that went straight toward the middle of the goal. But Thalman knocked the ball away, and forward Max McKiernan ’14 came in for the clear, shutting down the visitors’ renewed offensive drive.

    “It was a bit of scramble, but the team responded,” Thalman said. “We stayed calm and showed maturity, and this will serve us well going down the season.”

    Ten minutes into the second half, midfielder Conner Lachenbruch ’15 again initiated the attack with a shot, which was blocked by a Pioneer defender. Then in 58:37, defender Philip Piper ’16 deftly dribbled the ball, and without a hint of hesitation, sent it to Armbrust. Armbrust crossed to Jacobson, who shot past a defender and the Pioneers’ goalkeeper to seal the victory.

    One minute before the whistle, Pioneers’ Jamal Vinson maneuvered passed through the Elis’ defense and fired a shot that caught everyone off guard ­— except Thalman. The Yale goalie nestled the ball into his arms and secured the goalpost again.

    With only 15 seconds remaining, the visitors could not take any effective measure to turn the game around.

    The Elis recorded a total of 11 shots (11–15) and Thalman made five saves. After a tiring weekend, the Elis will take Monday and Tuesday practice off.

    The Elis will face Fordham on Friday in the hopes of extending their victory march. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Reese Stadium.

  5. M. SOCCER | Elis clash with local rivals

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    The men’s soccer team have a tough schedule ahead of them this weekend against two local rivals, Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart. The team is looking to end its goal drought and capture its first wins of the season.

    “It is not necessarily a matter of what kind of teams we play. It is a matter of how we play,” captain and goalkeeper Bobby Thalman ’13 said.

    He added that the team should play both with respect and correct mentality.

    In last year’s matchup against the Bobcats, the Bulldogs (0–3–1) took down the visitors 3–2 at Reese Stadium.

    “It was a hard-fought game,” Thalman said.

    In that game, Yale trailed the visitors and was held scoreless in the first half. However, the Bulldogs came back strong in the second half and reversed the flow of the game. Forwards Jenner Fox ’14, Peter Jacobson ’14 and Charlie Neil ’12 scored a goal apiece. Defensively, Thalman made two important saves.

    “Due to location, Quinnipiac is always a good rivalry,” Thalman said. “They are a high-energy team, and we have to match with our energy and enthusiasm.”

    Despite the absence of Neil and forward Max Morice ’15, who signed to play for Stade Rennes in France, the Bulldogs still have strong forwards like Jacobson and Max McKiernan ’14, who recorded crucial attacking points in the last four matches. On the Bobcats’ side, one player to watch is forward Philip Surprise. He is the lead scorer for his team, with four goals to his credit so far this season. Forward William Daniels is also another player to note, as he closely trails Surprise in the number of goals scored for the Bobcats.

    On Sunday, Yale will host another regional rival, Sacred Heart, to its home turf.

    In last season’s clash, both teams took only a point apiece after a very long battle that forced them to go into double overtime. The Elis failed to maintain the first half lead given by Jacobson and allowed the Pioneers’ Omer Levy to level the scoreboard, which eventually led to an extra 20 minutes of playing time.

    “They are a very skillful team,” Thalman said.

    Marcello Castro and Mahmoud Kafel are the key players to mark from Sacred Heart. They each have scored two goals apiece so far this season.

    Thlaman said that the exit of Sacred Heart’s goalkeeper, Alex Fait, is a big help to Yale as he gave a strong performance last year. Yale outdid the Pioneers in shots (14–12) whereas Fait blocked two more shots than Thalman (8–6).

    “If we do as well as we do during practices, there is nothing we cannot handle,” Thalman said.

    The team will only have a day to rest between the two matches, with a regeneration session in the pool and spin in the Payne Whitney Gymnasium on Saturday.

    “We have a long season to go and as we become more experienced, we get more used to the schedule,” Thalman said.

    The match against Quinnipiac starts at 4 p.m. today. The Bulldogs will take on the Pioneers on Sunday at 1 p.m. at home.

  6. M. SOCCER | Bulldogs fend off Raiders in double overtime

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    Despite stepping up on offense and battling through a double overtime, the Elis (0–3–1) could not gain the upper hand on their opponents this weekend.

    On a breezy early autumn night Friday, numerous Bulldogs supporters filled Reese stadium for a match between the Elis and the defending Patriot League’s champion Colgate that would go to double overtime.

    Just a minute before the end of the scoreless first overtime, forward Max McKiernan ’15 shot from a spectacular 15 yards out but his attempt bounced off the crossbar. True to an age-old soccer superstition that a team will fail to score again after hitting the crossbar, McKiernan’s attempt proved to be the last golden opportunity for the Elis, and the game ended scoreless.

    “It was a tough game, but we showed our character and definitely fought to the end,” defender Tyler Detorie ’16 said.

    The Elis played a man down for the majority of the match, after defender Andy Hackbarth ’13 took down a Colgate player who had a clear path to the goal and received a red card at 9:55.

    Head coach Brian Tompkins said he was generally pleased with the team’s discipline and perseverance despite facing Colgate with only 10 players.

    “It was hard to play offense with men down since everyone feels more burdened,” defender Pablo Espinola ’16 added.

    Just eight minutes after the kick off, the Bulldogs opened up two consecutive scoring chances.

    An especially lethal shot by Midfielder Kevin Michalak ’15 hit the post, and shortly after, last season’s top scoring forward Peter Jacobson ’14’s took a shot that went wide.

    Without much change in formation, the Elis continued their play with a stable defense and recorded four shots by the end of second half.

    “We kept four in the back, although we pressured a little lower,” Detorie said. “However, we threw bodies around and blocked shots, and were more compact.”

    Captain and goalkeeper Bobby Thalman ’13 was busy playing the life-support for the team. Thalman fended off five shots, and his consistent performance allowed the Elis to secure the draw. The goalie’s instincts shined eight seconds before the close of the second overtime, as he dove to block a sudden, strong shot from Raider Shane Conlin’s.

    On the other side of the field, the visiting team proved equally adept at blocking shots from the Elis. In the overtime periods, the Raiders blocked shots from forward Avery Schwartz ’16, midfielder Conner Lachenbruch ’15, defender Milan Tica ’13 and Michalak.

    Overall, the Bulldogs came up just two shots shy of the Raiders (10–12), but far outdid Colgate in saves (5–1).

    On Sunday, the Elis’ efforts ended in a 1–0 loss against Fairfield at Lessing Field. Despite demonstrating some impressive moves offensively and high-pressure defense, the team failed to avenge last season’s 1-0 loss to the Stags.

    “It was a disappointing result, but there were still some positives to be taken from today’s game,” Thalman said.

    The Bulldogs started off strong at Fairfield’s home turf. Just two minutes after the kick off, forward Scott Armbrust ’14 rifled a shot, but it ended up going wide.

    For the next 11 minutes, the Bulldogs took two more shots to shake up the hosts and dictated the flow of the game.

    The Bulldogs relentlessly knocked at the Stags’ doorsteps, with a shot from Jacobson that Fairfield goalkeeper Michael O’Keeffe blocked.

    For the rest of the first half, the Bulldogs effectively shut down the hosts’ renewed offensive drive. Eight minutes before the whistle, breaking through Yale’s tight wall, Fairfield’s Reco McLaren deftly maneuvered passed through the Elis defense and fired a shot that surprised everyone, but was fortunately blocked.

    “I felt we possessed the ball better and improved our team defense,” Thalman said.

    In the next half, the Bulldogs took on an offensive approach, but 26 minutes into the second half, the Elis allowed Fairfield’s George Newton to take a 25-yard shot.

    The ball went straight past Thalman into the Yale’s net, and the hosts did not stop there. Just 15 minutes after his first goal, Fairfield’s Daniel Shaw kicked a shot, but this time Thalman jumped to deny the ball from passing the goal line.

    Although forward Schwartz nearly found a way to level the scoreboard at 89:34, the Fairfield goalkeeper made a spectacular save to hang onto the lead.

    With a stronger record than the Stags in shots and saves, 9-8 and 3-2 respectively, the Elis closed out the weekend’s matches without a win.

    “We just now need to improve our finishing quality so that we can score goals and put team away,” Thalman said.

    The Bulldogs will seek their first victory Friday when they travel to the home of the local rival Quinnipiac.

    Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m.

  7. M. SOCCER | Elis look for first win

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    After going scoreless against Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) and Albany last weekend, the Bulldogs will attempt to take their first victory of the season against Colgate tonight.

    “Our goal is to go into this game with our previous losses behind us and get our first win in order to build momentum for the rest of the season,” forward Peter Jacobson ’14 said.

    Despite experimenting with various offensive strategies, the Bulldogs have not yet translated their plays into goals. In their match against Albany, the Elis took 17 shots.

    “We can play with anyone in the country, we just have to get the winning-mentality ball rolling,” forward Jenner Fox ’14 said.

    Yale (0–2) has not faced Colgate (1–2–1) in the last three years, so none of the current players from either team have played against each other.

    “Colgate is a very hardworking team, and they play good compact and disciplined defense,” Jacobson said.

    Fox added that Yale has been focusing on Colgate’s weaknesses and how best to exploit them.

    Defending Patriot League champion Colgate has so far recorded a total of four goals this season, with midfielder Mike Reidy being responsible for half of those goals. Last season, he was the third-highest scorer for his team and contributed significantly in the win over American in the Patriot League Championship. Other players to watch are forward Tanner Schilling and midfielder Mike Garzi, as they have already scored a goal apiece this season. Garzi is also a key member in Colgate’s returning lineup. He was instrumental in taking the Raiders to the NCAA tournament last year and was named to the 2011 Patriot League All-Tournament team.

    Jacobson said the Bulldogs should be technically sound, move the ball quickly and have good off-the-ball movement to overtake the Raiders’ defense.

    Besides the team’s defensive strategy of focusing on hard-pressure ball and defending as one unit, Yale has captain and goalkeeper Bobby Thalman ’13, who has recorded 13 saves with a save percentage of 0.765, to close off the team’s goalposts. Thalman was placed on the Ivy League Honor Roll on Monday.

    The Elis also have last season’s honorable mention All-Ivy winner Jacobson. He has been playing a significant role in boosting the team’s offensive power, recording six shots out of the 20 shots Yale has taken this season. Freshman forward Avery Schwartz ’16 also has contributed four shots.

    Fox said the team will be playing flying V for the game.

    “We know that we are a better team than our previous matches have shown, and we want to show that on Friday,” Jacobson said.

    The game starts at 7 p.m. tonight. On Sunday, the Bulldogs will head to Fairfield for a 1 p.m. game.

  8. M. SOCCER | Morice ’15 takes on pro soccer in France

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    When asked to name the student seen juggling and bouncing a ball around Yale’s campus, men’s soccer head coach Brian Tompkins did not have to think twice: Rarely could former sophomore Max Morice be seen without a soccer ball by his side.

    But when Morice was offered a chance to take his lifelong passion to the professional level by signing with Stade Rennes in France, the opportunity was too good to pass up.

    “This has been my dream since I was a small boy, to play professional soccer,” Morice said.

    After completing his freshman year and playing in all 17 of the soccer team’s games, Morice signed a professional soccer contract with Stade Rennes as one of two new recruits this summer. The team normally only takes players from France, but Morice’s family is from France and his grandfather was able to arrange a trial.

    For the left-footed midfielder, soccer runs in the family. Morice’s father Pierre played with the team Nantes in the France First Division and in the United States with the Minnesota Thunder. Morice’s brother, Peter, played at Columbia.

    Despite his talent on the field and commitment to the game, Morice’s early departure from Yale came as a surprise to Tomkins and three teammates interviewed. While they said they recognized that Max’s passion for soccer would likely drive him into the profession eventually, they did not expect it would come so early.

    But Tim Carter, Morice’s coach for all four years at Shattuck St. Mary’s School in Minnesota, said he could imagine Morice pursuing a professional career before graduating college.

    “Playing professionally was certainly always in the back of Max’s mind,” Carter said. “I know Max has the mental strength, discipline and character to take him to this next level now.”

    But Carter added that playing a year of collegiate soccer puts Morice in a stronger position to make the transition than if he had entered the professional ranks directly after high school.

    Morice’s transition marks the achievement of a goal for which he has been working since he began playing as a toddler.

    Tod Hershovitz, assistant coach of the men’s soccer team at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an old family friend, added that Morice’s commitment to soccer and sportsmanship were present from the beginning.

    “Max was always full of energy, passionate, striving to improve his game and get better and better,” Herskovitz said. “His positivity and hard-working attitude have remained consistent over the years I’ve known him, and his love for the game only continues to grow.”

    Morice’s move to France marks not only a major change in his athletic career and development, but also in his personal life. Though he visits the country several times a year to see family, Morice is living permanently in France for the first time. No longer does he work to balance academics and athletics, college social life and the demands of his team. Instead, he faces the pressures that come from playing soccer as a full-time job. Currently, Morice is on the second team, also known as the reserves team, but he said he hopes to earn a spot on the first team next year.

    Professional soccer in Europe is distinct from American collegiate soccer in several ways, Morice said.

    “The level of play is clearly a lot higher in the professional world,” he said. “The play is much more tactical and technical. The pure strength and grit aspects are not as emphasized as they are in the U.S.”

    Nick Alers ’14, defender for men’s soccer team, said Morice’s playing style at Yale already stood out for emphasizing the same tactical approach more typical of European professional play.

    With Morice’s departure, the Bulldogs lost a skilled, technical player who was a tremendous asset to the team’s efforts ever since scoring the game-winning goal in his first game, against Central Connecticut State University in the fall of 2011.

    But even in his departure from the team, Morice’s ability to remind his teammates why they play and love soccer so much is perhaps his greatest legacy at Yale, team member Peter Jacobson ’14 said.

    Morice said he remains uncertain about whether or not he will return to Yale.

    “I [get] to play soccer everyday, all day. What could be better?”

  9. Armbrust return gives Elis boost

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    Despite dropping its opening contests against Central Connecticut State University and Albany over the weekend, the men’s soccer team has high hopes for the season. One factor contributing to the Bulldogs’ positive outlook is the return of forward Scott Armbrust ’14, who missed last season due to a hip injury. His sophomore year, Armbrust started in 13 games for the Elis. The News sat down with the Davenport College junior to discuss his return to the team and prospects for the season.

    Q: What do you think about the team’s performance in the matches over the weekend, against CCSU and Albany?

    A: We have a lot of experience coming back, and I am looking for players to step up who will serve us well in the Ivy season. The matches over the weekend were a wake-up call.

    Q: How does it feel to be back? You missed last season with an injury. Was there anything in particular you did so as not to lose the feel of the sport?

    A: I am very excited to be back with the teammates. I am looking forward to working out and competing with them. I was out for six months due to a hip injury. I was in machines alternating from icing to mobility for about a month. I could not do anything much, but once I was able to move around, I went to the gym for arm and upper-body workouts. I also got physical therapy in my leg. I needed time for the bone to heal. A lot of players actually suffer from hip injuries, but I am happy that I am now fully recovered.

    Q: You had a fantastic season back in 2009. You were named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week and your six goals placed you tied for fifth in the Ivy League. What would be the biggest difference between the current season and that one three years ago?

    A: My role on the team is different now. I have more of a leadership role and help determine the tempo of the game. When game situations get tough, I am in the position to take care of them. It is definitely a lot different. The expectations from my coach are higher as well as my own.

    Q: How do you evaluate the team’s current forwards?

    A: At forward, we have some of the best attacking players and some of them, such as Peter Jacobson ’14, have the potential to be dangerous in the league.

    Q: Tell me about your most memorable match or moment.

    A: It happened in my freshmen year, back in 2009 … when I scored my first goal against Quinnipiac. It gave me confidence in front of the goal for the rest of the season.

    Q: Which team do you consider as the Bulldogs’ biggest rival? The toughest to play against?

    A: Harvard. It is true they struggled last year, but the fact that it is Harvard makes the team’s emotions high. Everyone is very motivated to win against the Crimson.

    Q: Is there anything special that the head coach emphasizes? Any specific strategies that he uses during practice?

    A: Defending as one unit. In offensive style, we have technically sound players, so we focus on moving the ball quicker and keeping it on top more. We put great emphasis on quick movement and mobility.

    Q: Is there anything specific or any special strategies that you do as a forward? Sometimes you also play the role of an attacking midfielder. Is there any sort of playing style that you favor or consider to be your own?

    A: It does not really matter. We just adapt to whatever the coach wants and try to be versatile players. We basically follow the coach’s style.

    Q: The team did well last season, ranking fourth in the Ivies. Do you think the team has the potential to do just as well, or even better this season? What is the team’s goal for this season?

    A: Besides of course winning the Ivies … I want a lot of players to be on the first division Ivy team or receive a lot of honorable mentions.

    Q: What is your personal goal for this season?

    A: Definitely getting an award, such as the First Team Ivy or honorable mention. If I remain healthy even after graduation, I actually want to continue soccer. I am engineering major and I have interned during the summer, but it was not as exciting as soccer.

    Q: What does soccer mean to you? Why did you start playing the sport?

    A: None of my family members played soccer. I first started playing baseball, but realized it did not fit me as I enjoyed running and being more active on the ground. Then my best friend played soccer when I was young, and I wanted to play with him. I found out I was good at soccer and scored a lot in my first game, so that is why I continued.

    Q: Who is your favorite soccer player, and what is your favorite team?

    A: Lionel Messi. He plays the position that I play, forward, and Barcelona is my favorite team.

    Q: The team has a match against Colgate this Friday. Any comments on that?

    A: We are looking to compete hard since Colgate is so good. I do feel that in order to put up a good game, we need to play well and compete really hard to play to our full potential.

  10. M. SOCCER | Bulldogs denied first win

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    Despite facing one opponent they had won against last year, and outshooting another, the Bulldogs failed to get on the scoreboard this weekend.

    As if on a mission to avenge last season’s loss, Central Connecticut State University played aggressively from the start, taking three shots that were way too close for comfort for the Bulldogs in the first ten minutes of the first half alone. Although captain and goalkeeper Bobby Thalman ’13 made eight spectacular saves, it was not enough to help the Elis avoid a 2–0 defeat against the Blue Devils on Friday.

    “It was definitely a tough start to the season, especially since I know that our team is capable of playing much better soccer,” defender Nick Alers ’14 said.

    The Bulldogs won 2–0 when the two teams last met, but the exact same numbers went in favor of the Blue Devils this time around.

    Midfielder Max McKiernan ’14 said the team is staying positive and using the loss as a learning experience for future matches.

    “The first game was a rough start for us, but it’s good to get the first game out of the way and to know exactly where we need to improve moving forward,” he said.

    Three of the Bulldogs’ key players are also out with injuries, but McKiernan said they should be back in the game soon.

    Alers added that CCSU had several impressive players and that the Blue Devils played with more vigor than they did last year.

    Just five minutes into the game, the Devils began their barrage of attacks, averaging three shots at Yale’s goalposts every three minutes. At 16:21, CCSU’s Eddy Bogle took a bold shot that found its way into the Bulldogs’ net. During the next 20 minutes, the Elis tried hard to bounce back but ended up giving away unnecessary opportunities to the Devils.

    Seven minutes before the end of the first half, CCSU’s Reece Wilson, who assisted the first goal, lashed an irrefutably sure shot under normal circumstances, but Thalman pointedly denied the attempt.

    “They had a lot of fans at the game, and it seemed as if they fed off that energy to really press us,” Alers said.

    After going through three substitutes, the Bulldogs once again regrouped to reverse the scoreboard, but their efforts proved futile. The Devils continued their relentless assault, firing two more threatening shots during the next seven minutes of the second half. At 53:51, CCSU’s Jesse Menzies took a shot that went straight past Thalman to make it 2–0 for the Devils. Twenty minutes later, defender Milan Tica ’13 gave a glimpse of hope for Yale as he powered a shot toward CCSU’s net, only to be palmed to safety by Devils’ goalkeeper.

    Despite a successful pre-season, the Elis are still getting in the swing of the competitive season and making adjustments, Alers said.

    “We made a couple of mistakes defensively, but it is nothing that we cannot fix as we look forward to our next game,” Alers added.

    Thalman made more saves than CCSU’s Anthony Occhialini (8–1), and the Elis committed fewer fouls, seven to CCSU’s eight. But the opponents outdid the Bulldogs in shots (19–3) and controlled possession for most of the match.

    “I think it is important to have perspective and realize that it was the first game of a long season,” Alers said. “We have plenty of time to make things right.”

    Monday, the Elis again failed to grab their first win of the season and fell to Albany 2–0 at home. Thalman said the team improved in the second half, maintaining possesion for longer and becoming more aggressive on offense to open up scoring opportunities. The Bulldogs took 17 shots to Albany’s 15, but were unable to complete these plays with goals.

    Sixteen minutes after the kickoff, four different Bulldogs took shots to shake up the visitors and dictate the flow of the game.

    In 18:34, Thalman dived left and captured the ball just seven feet outside of the net off a shot by Albany’s Pomare Te Anau. The Bulldogs did not soften up and tried everything to consolidate a victory by recording five more powerful shots for the next 20 minutes, but all failed to translate into goals.

    Three minutes before the first half came to a close, Great Dane Brandon Wilson leveled the score and turned the tide of the match by manoevering past Thalman. The visitors continued their aggressive assault in the second half. After taking six more threatening shots, the seventh one did the trick of finding its way into the Bulldogs’ net at 89:57, just three seconds before the whistle to secure Yale’s loss.

    The Elis will seek their first win next weekend instead, against Colgate on Friday at Reese Stadium at 7 p.m.

  11. M. SOCCER | Elis look to crush Devils again

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    After closing out a successful preseason on Monday with a 4–0 win against Glastonbury Celtic, the men’s soccer team will kick off its regular season with a match against Central Connecticut State University today.

    The team has been training hard during its preseason, which began Aug. 17, and captain and goalkeeper Bobby Thalman ’13 said the Bulldogs are ready to jump into the regular season with a debut match against the Blue Devils.

    “We feel very prepared and are excited about tomorrow’s match,” Thalman said. “Last season was a big improvement and was a step to the right position.”

    Last season, Yale rebounded from a rough 2010 run and managed to pull off a winning record, 8–7–2, including a 2–0 shutout victory against the Blue Devils.

    “The team’s goal for this season is to win the league and try to make a run in the NCAA tournament,” midfielder Max Mckiernan ’14 said. “It will also be a team fun to watch.”

    The team started to play in a more possession-oriented way last year, and has continued to build on that into the preseason.

    Despite Yale’s rout of CCSU last year, Thalman said the Blue Devils are known to field skilled players with considerable speed, and should not be taken lightly.

    He added that the Elis have been working together effectively on offense and pressuring the opponent as a strong unit on both offense and defense. This year, the Bulldogs have increased practice time to two hours a day and gained six freshmen to fill in spots from the eight seniors who graduated.

    “Our offense this year should be lethal. We are returning a lot of talent and experience up front,” Mckiernan said.

    Mckiernan added the freshmen players have done well so far adapting to the speed and intensity of the college game.

    “Our coaching staff changed our style of play and moved some players into some different positions,” defender Milan Tica ’13 said. “I think the biggest improvement is just more experience in that style of play.”

    The offense and midfield defend as much as the defenders, Tica added.

    The Bulldogs hope that their enhanced strategy can help them gain a repeat of last year’s performance against the Blue Devils on Friday.

    The two players responsible for the previous win, with a goal apiece, were last season’s honorable mention All-Ivy winner midfielder Max Mckiernan ’14 and midfielder Max Morice ’15. Morice, who signed to play for Stade Rennes in France earlier this summer, will not be returning to the lineup or to Yale this year.

    In that game, Yale outdid CCSU in shots (16–12) and controlled the flow of the game for much of the match, despite committing nine more fouls (21–12). Thalman also contributed to the victory with five stunning saves.

    Despite losing some important members this year, CCSU nevertheless still maintains some dangerous players in its arsenal, Thalman said. Forward Reece Wilson was responsible for scoring one-fourth of the Blue Devils’ 24 goals recorded during last season, along with three assists. Another forward to keep an eye on is Eddy Bogle, who had five goals to his name last year. Most notably, CCSU demonstrated greater strength in games played in its home turf this season, and the Bulldogs will face them in New Britain, Conn.

    On Yale’s end, midfielder Peter Jacobson ’14 recorded seven goals last season and earned an honorable mention for the All-Ivy team. On defense, the Bulldogs retain the ever-reliable Nick Alers ’14. Last season, he anchored the defense core, which let up only 16 goals and earned four shutouts. Algers was first team All-Ivy and an NSCAA All-Northeast Region third team.

    Between the posts, Thalman earned second team All-Ivy last season with 92 saves overall and a 0.852 save percentage.

    Thalman said the team is ready to play its own game and is optimistic in general about the upcoming season.

    “Some players are battling with injuries, but I believe it should not be a much of a problem,” he said.

    The Bulldogs will take on the Blue Devils today at 7 p.m. at CCSU’s new soccer field.