Bulldogs Rebound: Victory Over Columbia Follows Losses to Harvard and Syracuse in Men's Soccer

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Bulldogs Rebound: Victory Over Columbia Follows Losses to Harvard and Syracuse in Men’s Soccer

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The Yale men’s soccer team (7–5–2, 2–1–2 Ivy) faced a challenging series of matches, starting with a loss to Harvard (4–4–6, 2–1–2 Ivy) despite a solid performance. They then faced a formidable Syracuse team (7–3–5, 2–1–4 ACC) and subsequently rebounded with a victory against Columbia (2–7–3, 0–4–1 Ivy) to maintain their Ivy League aspirations.

In a showdown against Harvard in Cambridge on Saturday, the Bulldogs displayed a strong start but couldn’t find the net in the first half, despite registering seven more shots than their opponents. They had a goal disallowed for offside and even struck the crossbar.

Yale eventually broke the deadlock in the 61st minute when Joseph Farouz ’27 scored off a corner kick. However, Harvard swiftly responded with a goal of their own just two minutes later, leveling the score at 1–1. In the final ten minutes, Harvard took the lead in the 80th minute, and a last-minute goal sealed a 3–1 victory for Harvard.

Goalkeeper Chris Edwards ’24 expressed the frustration of not capitalizing on their chances, saying, “The Harvard game was super tough because we were the much better team for 65 minutes.”

Yale coach Kylie Stannard believed that their first-half goal should not have been called offside, giving credit to Harvard for seizing their opportunities. The team had little time to dwell on missed chances or calls as they prepared for a challenging match against Syracuse, the defending NCAA Champions and ranked No. 21 nationally.

The game lived up to expectations, with Syracuse taking a 2–0 lead in the 20th minute courtesy of Felipe D’Agostini’s goals. The physical contest saw the Bulldogs accumulate seven yellow cards after the 40th minute, and a controversial second yellow card for defender Jake Schaffer ’24 left Yale with ten men for the last 12 minutes. A penalty save by Edwards in the 90th minute preserved a 2–0 win for Syracuse.

Schaffer, the team’s captain, commended the team’s performance despite the losses, emphasizing that every game is an opportunity to learn. To remain competitive in the Ivy standings, the team needed a rebound against Columbia.

After a scoreless first half, the Bulldogs aimed to secure a much-needed victory in the second half. In the 64th minute, a precise cross from Max Rogers ’24 led to a header by Eric Lagos ’24, giving Yale a narrow lead. Columbia managed to equalize in the 78th minute, setting the stage for a potential late-game disappointment.

However, Rogers and Lagos combined brilliantly once again in the 82nd minute, with Lagos capitalizing on a pass from Rogers to secure his second goal of the game. This goal enabled Yale to regain the lead and clinch a 2–1 victory.

Coach Stannard praised the team’s resilience, noting, “Ultimately, it took a couple special plays by Eric Lagos and Max Rogers to find the goals today, and hopefully they have some more in them in the coming games.”

This victory propelled Yale to the top of the Ivy League standings, sharing the position with Cornell (8–3–2, 2–1–2 Ivy), Penn (5–3–5, 2–1–2 Ivy), and Harvard. Securing the top seed is crucial for hosting the Ivy League Tournament, so with just two regular-season games left, the Bulldogs aim to finish the season strongly.

Yale will face Cornell in Ithaca on Saturday, Oct. 28, and conclude the regular season at home against Brown (4–4–6, 1–0–4 Ivy) a week later on Nov. 4. Notably, Cornell is ranked 27th in the country, the highest among Ivy League teams.

Captain Schaffer stressed the importance of maintaining their approach, saying, “We need to approach these last two games as any other game this season. If we start changing things now, it can allow doubt, stress, or anxiety to creep in. We need to stick to what has worked for us and take pride in our final two regular-season performances.”

The Bulldogs last secured the Ivy League title in 2019.

Reference:

https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2023/10/25/mens-soccer-bulldogs-bounce-back-from-losses-to-harvard-and-syracuse-with-win-against-columbia/

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