Two Ivy games in the books, and the men’s soccer team finds itself in a three-way tie for first place in the league. After taking out Penn in a well played match, the Red scored a last-minute goal to edge out Harvard this past weekend. The Red now stands at 3-4-2 overall, and claims an undefeated 2-0 Ivy League record. However, that boastful league record will, for the third time in as many weeks, be challenged when the team travels to New Haven, Conn., for a match against Yale. The game is scheduled to take place Sunday at 2:30 on the Bulldogs’ home field.
The team is still riding high after its thrilling victory against Harvard last Saturday. “The guys feel really good,” said head coach Bryan Scales. “We’re playing well and it’s been a great past two games. We’re proud to be 2-0, but all these games are still real important, and we know we still have to work hard to keep winning.”
The Red will be looking to continue its strong play of late – playing the same way it has for the past few weeks. Specifically, the team must continue to ride its recent offense power-surge.
“We’ve gotten some timely goal scoring which makes a big difference,” Scales said. “We’ve been scoring at crucial times, in different matches, from a number of different players. And when you’re scoring 2, 3 goals a game you have a real good chance at winning.”
The Bulldogs (5-2-3 overall, 1-1 Ivy) are coming off a loss to league rival Dartmouth this past weekend. Dartmouth scored the first and only goal of the match within the first 15 minutes of play, handing the Bulldogs a 1-0 loss in the end. That being said, Sunday’s bout against the Red is a must-win game for the Bulldogs. If the team falls, it’s Ivy record will drop below .500 to an undaunting 1-2, while the Red will improve to 3-0, widening the gap between the two teams. Consequently, any chance of the Bulldogs climbing back to the top of the league would be severely diminished.
Come Sunday, the Red will try to separate itself from the rest of the league and take advantage of a Bulldogs team coming off of a loss. Easier said than done. The Bulldogs are averaging 1.8 goals per game, while the Red scores an average of only 1.3. On top of that, the Bulldogs have given up a stingy average of 1.02 goals per game, while the Red has surrendered an average of 1.36. However, although the numbers don’t lie, the Red remains confident going into New Haven.
“[Yale is] a team that has a number of different players that can beat you at any one time,” Scales said. “They are really good on the ball and make good, smart passes. They’re very talented, and very skillful. The team is] confident, but they aren’t overconfident. We know we’re going to have out hands full with Yale, so all we can do is play those 90 minutes on Sunday. We’ve got to make sure we do a good job on both sides of the ball if we want to win come Sunday.”
Archived article by Ben Kopelman
Sun Staff Writer