Tag Archive: soccer

  1. MEN’S SOCCER: Yale falls to Hartford in double overtime

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    After drawing even late in Tuesday’s contest, the Yale men’s soccer team conceded a goal in the 118th minute of the game, falling to Hartford in a heartbreaking double-overtime loss. But the team has very little time to lick its wounds, as it takes on Columbia Saturday.

    Yale’s (2–8–2, 1–2–1 Ivy) loss came primarily from the deft feet of Hartford (7-–7–3, 2-–1–2, American East) forward Jeff Tyron, who secured both goals for his team. Despite the final result, the Elis did a lot of things well, according to head coach Kylie Stannard. But Yale suffered yet again from its inability to put the ball in the back of the net, scoring just one goal on Tuesday.

    “The performance was by far one of the best we have had the past couple of seasons so I am really happy about that,” Stannard said. “We pressed well, we were dangerous in the wide areas and we had good possession. We had a couple of excellent chances to win the game and we need to get shots on goal in those moments.”

    The game marked the third time Yale has found itself tied after 90 minutes. In the other two contests, neither the Elis nor their opponents managed to break the ties.

    Yale initiated the game’s first offensive push, securing three corner kicks in the first 15 minutes, but failed to convert any of the chances into goals. After those corner kicks, Yale’s offense slowed and the Lions were able to capitalize, earning a penalty kick off a handball in the box in the 30th minute. In his first career start, Bulldog goalie Andrew Bortey ’20, was not able to save the penalty shot, as Tyron slotted it home.

    The first half ended with the score 1–0 in Hartford’s favor.

    Neither team was able to alter the scoreboard until 16 minutes into the second half, when midfielder Lucas Kirby ’19 sent a cross into the box and found a leaping Kyle Kenagy ’19, who smashed home a header inside of Hartford’s 6-yard box. The goal marked Kenagy’s second of the season, both of which he earned with the help of his forehead.

    “Kyle is great in the air,” Kirby said. “He has incredible jumping ability and a tenaciousness and desire to get to the ball that can’t be taught. Whenever I spot him in the box, I try to do whatever I can to get him the ball.”

    The momentum then rested at the feet of the Elis who, after coming from behind, were thirsty for a game-winning goal. However, that goal would never come, and as the clock dwindled down, both sides prepared for overtime. After the first 10-minute overtime and another seven minutes of extra time, it appeared as if Yale might tie its third game of the year.

    With only two hours and 24 minutes left to play, Tyron was once again able to find the net, receiving the ball, skirting around the Yale defense and sending a shot into the left side-netting. With so little time remaining, the Bulldogs were unable to mount another game-tying rally.

    Saturday’s game against Columbia is not only one of the final conference matches for the Elis, but also a contest in which Yale has struggled for years: The Elis have not beaten the Lions since Halloween 2009.

    But changing script this year will be no easy task. The Lions have already secured an impressive nine wins, compared to Yale’s two, and beat two teams that the Bulldogs either tied or lost to.

    In order to topple Columbia, the Bulldogs will, first and foremost, have to mitigate the effectiveness of junior forward Arthur Bosua, who leads the team with 11 points. Overall, Columbia’s offense has proven more effective than Yale’s, scoring more than half a goal more per game.

    But the Elis have one advantage heading into Saturday’s contest — they play at home.  The Lions 5–1 home record contrasts with a more middling 3–2–1 record on the road. Moreover, Saturday’s game will be the first home Ivy League game for Yale.

    “Our next game is always our biggest game and the one we are focused on,” midfielder Nicky Downs ’19 said. “Whether a midweek out of conference game or an Ivy game, the preparation is the same. That said, we want to be especially ready to go by the weekend so that we stay in the hunt for the Ivy League.”

    Yale will play at 7 p.m. on Friday.

  2. WOMEN’S SOCCER: Controversial call dashes title hopes

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    Despite more than an hour of quality play Saturday against one of the Ivy League’s best teams, a controversial call eliminated the Yale women’s soccer team from Ivy League championship contention Saturday.

    The Bulldogs (5–6–3, 1–3–1 Ivy) came into their matchup with Penn (8–3–2, 2–2–1) in the middle of the conference pack and in desperate need of a win to avoid relegation to the bottom of the league. After 78 minutes of scoreless competition, Penn finally broke through off a corner kick to take a 1–0 lead. Minutes later, the Elis thought they had tied the game after forward Aerial Chavarin ’20 found the back of the net — except the referee called the ball in possession of Quaker keeper, Kitty Qu. That agonizing moment spelled the end for Yale, which could not find the equalizer in the final moments, dropping the team out of contention for the Ancient Eight title.

    “You just feel bad for the kids,” head coach Rudy Meredith said. “The players worked so hard to get the goal and to have it be taken away was very frustrating. There was a point where I thought I might get ejected I was so upset. I felt it was criminal for the kids. We will be fighting with the Ivy League offices going forward trying to get instant replay.”

    Before the game, the Bulldogs stood tied in fourth place in the Ivy League, knotted with four other squads. Despite facing daunting odds, the Elis were not yet mathematically precluded from claiming the conference crown. In addition to more than a little outside help, Yale needed to win its remaining three games, including Saturday afternoon’s clash with the Quakers.

    The first half featured little by the way of offense. Penn took just six shots — none of which were on target — and the Bulldogs only managed two. Against a Quaker squad that had on four occasions scored at least four goals, the Yale defense seemed to be holding its own. Moreover, the Bulldogs held fast on both first-period corner kicks, an area that had caused them trouble throughout the season. When the whistle blew and the teams trotted off to the locker rooms, the 0–0 score remained intact, and the Elis’ dreams of surviving another day did not seem so far-fetched.

    Once the second half commenced, both teams turned up the heat. The Bulldogs fired three shots in the first seven minutes, including a 51st-minute attempt from midfielder Geneva Decker ’17 that Qu tipped up and off the crossbar. The Quakers and Elis each exchanged shots until the final 15 minutes. In the 79th minute, Penn won a corner kick that found the waiting feet of midfielder Emily Sands, who launched a shot past Yale goalie Alyssa Fagel ’20 to break the deadlock.

    “I think sometimes we just lose focus [on set pieces],” captain and defender Colleen McCormack ’17 said. “They’re a natural pause in the game but not an excuse for a mental break. When you take one, you suffer the consequences.”

    Now down a goal, the Elis set out to right the ship in the waning moments of the game. With its season on the line, Yale turned to its leading goal scorer this season, Chavarin, for some last-minute heroics.

    At first, it appeared Chavarin had answered the call. After Qu blocked her shot, she seemingly dribbled the loose ball into the back of the net. However, the referee waived off the goal in debatable fashion.

    “Sarah [McCauley ’18] played a beautiful ball to me, and I trapped it and tried to chip it,” Chavarin said. “[Qu] got her hands on it and hit it against the post. The ball was free, and I ran after it and scored, but the ref said the ball was in her hands [before I kicked it]. It was really disappointing.”

    Meredith erupted on the sideline, livid at the call, yet it failed to inspire a comeback. The 1–0 margin held for the final 10 minutes, and Yale tallied its third conference loss, stripping the Bulldogs of any hope of an Ivy League title.

    Now in fifth place in the conference with just two games to play, the Elis will have to find a way to compete with league-leader Columbia and third-place Brown before turning to the offseason. Despite the dejection the players surely feel, the Bulldogs will look to dust themselves off and set the tone for the 2017 campaign.

    “I think the morale is good, actually,” Chavarin said. “We know we can’t win the Ivies or go to the NCAA tournament, so we’re just working on getting ready for next year when we’ll hopefully do both of those things.”

    The Elis will play their final home game of 2016 on Saturday against Columbia. The match will kick off at 4 p.m.

  3. MEN’S SOCCER: Elis blanked by Penn at home

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    After falling 2–0 in a midweek loss to Big Ten goliath No. 20 Michigan State on Wednesday, the Yale men’s soccer team returned to New Haven looking to build a modest conference win streak against Penn on Saturday.

    A week removed from their first Ivy League victory in over two years — a 3–0 win over bottom-of-the-league Cornell — the Elis (2–7–2, 1–2–1 Ivy) failed to capitalize on any momentum and fell 3–0 to an overpowering Quaker (4–5–2, 2–2–0) team. Despite a strong start, the Bulldogs started out eventually succumbed to Penn’s offensive efficiency in the lopsided loss.

    “We created enough chances to score goals, but ultimately you have to put balls in the back of the net,” head coach Kylie Stannard said. “We didn’t make plays tonight … I’m always proud of these guys when it comes to how they fight but we weren’t sharp and I thought Penn was better.”

    Yale attacked immediately after the initial whistle. The Elis earned their first corner kick in the second minute of the game, on which midfielder Nicky Downs ’19 sent a curling cross into the heart of the box to a soaring Kyle Kenagy ’19. The forward headed the ball past the goalie, but his shot was too high, smashing off the crossbar and away from the net. Just over two minutes later, the tide shifted as Penn midfielder Dami Omitaomu slotted home an easy finish off a pass from defenseman Eremuse Momoh.

    This marked the second time this season that Yale has conceded a goal within the first six minutes of a match. Against Lafayette on Sept. 17, the Elis found themselves at a one-goal disadvantage only 3:07 in and went on to lose 2–0.

    “It was tough giving up a goal early [against Penn], one we thought we should have prevented,” midfielder Lucas Kirby ’19 said.

    Yale earned three more corner kicks in the five minutes succeeding the opening goal. Downs connected with Kenagy once again on the Elis’ third corner of the day, but his header was blocked before it reached the goal. Penn forbid the Bulldogs from getting their heads on either of the other two corners.

    The Bulldogs’ offense sputtered thereafter, seldom threatening at a goal in the remaining 35 minutes of the first half. Yale allowed Penn a second goal in the 30th minute, when Quakers midfielder Gideon Metrikin struck off of a laser from distance.

    The score remained 2–0 as both teams entered their locker rooms at the half.

    Twenty minutes into the second half, Penn scored its third unanswered goal to all but eliminate Yale’s chances for a comeback. While the Elis held the Quakers to just one shot from that point on, Yale only mustered two shots of its own in the remaining 25 minutes.

    The Quakers were far more efficient with their chances, as every shot they took was on-target. While the Elis took 11 shots, five more than their opponents, only four of those found their way on-target compared to Penn’s six.

    “Throughout the game we had the most chances,” defenseman Justin Lobe ’20 said. “We could have converted quite a few and it just came down to focusing in our final third and their final third. The few chances they got they could convert, and the few chances we got we couldn’t convert.”

    Despite this loss, the Elis still remain ahead of Princeton and Cornell in the Ivy League standings. The Tigers, currently mired in a 0–3–1 record, will be Yale’s last challenge of the season. A final sixth place standing in the Ancient Eight would be the Bulldogs’ highest since 2013, its last multi-win conference season.

    Yale will play its penultimate nonconference match on Tuesday against Hartford before returning home to face Columbia on Saturday.

  4. Amateur

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    Americans love sports. They don their paraphernalia — a cap, a hoodie, a proof of fandom — and sit on a couch to have one-sided conversations with their television screens. They frequent stadiums to enjoy the action mere feet away, to relax, not relax, revel in the crowd. They get their fix, paradoxically enough, by creating their own fantasy teams, virtual fiefdoms in which the average father of four can concoct and manage a perfect roster of players built from real-life athletes. They cheer, jeer, cry, harangue, fill the taverns to celebrate a victory, take to the same taverns to mourn a defeat. No matter the outcome, pride for the sports junkie, in all its expressions, becomes a take-no-prisoners mentality, a stimulant and a shield.

    The ways of the American are, naturally, not that uncommon. How could they be, when sports have been so vital, so universal to human history, ever since our Olympian forebears threw their first disc? A steadfast Red Sox fan in Massachusetts is no different from my dad back home in the Dominican Republic, whose right knee pops up every time David “Big Papi” Ortiz scores another decisive grand slam on ESPN. Forget plantains, forget rum: gifted baseball players have been the leading Dominican export of the past half-century. Accordingly, it is with baseball that I began my stormy dalliance with sports.

    Age five, maybe six. It’s a Saturday. Dad wakes me up. We’re going to take a short trip, it seems, so no “Pinky and the Brain” for me this morning. I have vague impressions of what follows next.

    In my polo shirt and khakis, I am driven to a nondescript, large terrain surrounded by low walls. I stand on a diamond of dirt, hiding behind my father’s legs as he talks to another man, the leader, I assume, of the pack of uniformed children sprinting and screaming around me so intensely. Dad takes me to the edge of the field. It takes me very few words to win this round against him. I shake my head, growing more reluctant even as he kneels down to plead his case. But, no, no, no, I say, I will not join a Little League baseball team. End of story.

    In a stab at self-validation, I did join the soccer team in third grade. We practiced every Wednesday after class. I’ll rephrase: the other kids ran back and forth along the makeshift field while I sat and observed. I regularly grabbed handfuls of soil to smear on my white shirt so I could feign the illusion of an afternoon well spent.

    Then, I tried my hand at golf, till a mishap with a 7-iron almost knocked my eye out of its socket. I never tucked away the bumpers at the edge of my bowling lane. I did a little bit of swimming. My foray into roller skating crumbled under weak ankles. The hacky sack outsmarted me. The exception, like manna from René Lacoste’s version of heaven, was the racquet. I hit those tennis balls with vigor no one ever thought I could muster. The clay courts, however, quickly bored me and the zeal vanished.

    Given my athletic record, any modicum of sports knowledge I have I gained through watching my father watch baseball on TV, or hockey or college basketball or professional basketball or soccer or, most curious of all, football. American football. Legs crossed on the living room ottoman, I spent years teasing out the logic of what I considered the most martial of sports. Men in helmets, wearing protective gear, trying to burst through the rival’s defenses in order to achieve a sense of territory.

    It never hit me. An imaginary playbook tried to form itself piecemeal in my head, to no avail. My own lack of interest made me wonder about the genesis of my father’s enthusiasm for football. Ah, well, of course, it was all that time rubbing elbows with those WASP-y chums in military school in New Jersey, and then college in Boston. Surely, I thought, this football, this fascination over a sport, was part of that addictive miasma of Americana of which we Gassós can’t get enough.

    So I stuck it out. I stayed put by the TV. If I wasn’t going to fully connect with football, then at least it could provide me with cultural exposure through osmosis, with some kind of conditioning for the bumbling soul. But it was time wasted. I learned nothing about American fanaticism, no rules, no definitions for terms like “fake punt” and “cut blocking.”

    Such futility is what dissuades me from picking up a ticket to The Game this Saturday. Year after year, The Game — that alleged zenith of school unity and “bow wow wow” — turns out to be one of the most alienating moments of my fall semester. It’s not the tailgate; roistering students I can handle. It’s not the blistering cold circling in the vacuum of the Yale Bowl.

    It is the feeling that, even amid all the fanfare, I am still the scrawny teenager sitting on the ottoman, failing to find myself within that collective experience, the thrill of belonging that only sports can foster.