MEN’S SOCCER: Bulldogs lure Penn in Ivy League opener
After tying Penn 0-0 on Saturday night, the Yale men’s soccer team are yet to concede a goal in a conference game this season.
Drew Beckmen and Alessa Kim Panero
The Yale men’s soccer team recorded their fourth straight shutout for Ivy in a 0-0 draw with the University of Pennsylvania on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs (5-4-4, 2-0-2 Ivy) traveled to Philadelphia for their first away game in the Ivy League. Tied with the Quakers (7-3-3, 1-1-2 Ivy), Yale now sits third in the Ivy table, behind Princeton and Cornell by four points and one point, respectively. Penn dominated the Elis 19-14 in the contest, but the Bulldogs held a 4-3 advantage in both overtime periods. While the Blues and Whites haven’t lost in the Ancient Eight game, they will be looking to earn three points in each of their last three games to compete for a playoff spot. Yale’s road competition continues this weekend with a Saturday night game against Columbia.
“It has been a very good defensive performance from everyone so far in the league,” said goalie Elian Haddock ’23. “Hats off to the guys at the back row. They were great in making sure we kept a zero on the board in every game. Despite our strong defensive performance, I think we could do an even better job of avoiding shots and giving ourselves more breathing space when we are in possession. The next three games will be a good test for us both offensively and defensively.
The Bulldogs entered Saturday’s contest with a full week off after their midweek non-conference game against Stony Brook was canceled. In a statement, Yale Athletics cited “health concerns unrelated to COVID” as the reason for the cancellation.
Saturday’s game against Penn was marked by a strong defense from Yale who held up to 10 corners and 19 shots in the 110 minutes of play. The Quakers quickly put pressure on the Bulldogs, forcing Haddock to make an agile save. less than four minutes after the start of the match. A flurry of shots continued throughout the first half, with Haddock recording three more saves during the period.
Yale’s offense struggled to create many framed chances throughout the first half. The Bulldogs didn’t register a shot on goal until the 29th minute, when forward Paolo Carroll ’23 directed a ball in the direction of Penn Dane goalkeeper Jacomen. Before the second half, Penn led Yale on penalties 6-3.
The second half saw more offensive production from both teams as the Elis and Quakers registered eight and 11 shots, respectively. Of Penn’s 11 shots in frame, Haddock was only forced to make two saves as heavy pressure from the Yale defense limited attempts on target. The Bulldogs’ best chance to score came in the 73rd minute, as a corner from defender Gelber Lemus ’25 put Carroll directly in front of goal. Carroll headed the ball, which narrowly missed and deflected off the crossbar.
The scoreless game continued into two overtime periods, where the Elis put more pressure on the Quaker defense. Midfielder Kai Moos ’24 almost found the back of the net in the dying minutes of first overtime, forcing another save from Jacomen. The stoppage continued in double overtime, with the final whistle in a 0-0 game.
“The goal for the last few weeks is to take it one day at a time. We need to improve every day and only focus on what is immediately in front of us, ”said Moos. “To achieve our goals, we need to stand united and continue to focus on the details to make sure we are doing everything in our power to control the controllable things.”
Following a 1-0 win over No.24 Cornell last week, the Bulldogs took home the Weekly Ivy Awards, with Haddock winning Ivy Player of the Week and forward Kahveh Zahiroleslam ’24 winning Rookie of the Week for the second time this season.
The Elis will hit the road again this weekend to face Columbia in New York. The Lions are currently seventh in the Ivy League standings. In their last clash in November 2019, the Bulldogs triumphed in a 2-0 victory.
As the Blues and Whites head to their last three games of the season, they need to look for wins rather than ties. Princeton – Yale’s last regular season opponent – remains undefeated and currently sits atop the league standings.
“Our goal is still to win the Ivy League title, but with a little bit out of our control now we are focusing on doing what we can – capturing nine points in our last three games,” the defender said. Jake Schaffer ’24. “We can hope other teams lose points, but it doesn’t matter if we don’t mind the business of these last three games. We treat every game like it’s the last.
Yale and Columbia start Saturday at 7 p.m.