The men’s soccer team puts its four-game unbeaten streak on the line tomorrow when it travels to New Haven, Conn. to face No. 16 Yale (6-4-0, 2-0-0 Ivy) for a 7 p.m. contest. The Red (4-3-1, 1-0-1) tied Harvard last weekend on Berman Field, while the Bulldogs fell to Boston College, 2-0, on Tuesday.
“I don’t believe we’ve won down there in 15 to 20 years, so this will be a real challenge for our guys, but if any group can do it, this is the group,” said head coach Bryan Scales.
On Saturday against the Crimson, sophomore Pape Seye scored in the final minute of the first half for his second goal of the season. Harvard notched the equalizer early in the second, and the game ended with the score tied at one. Junior David Mahoney tied a season-high with 11 saves for the Red in net.
Despite scoring only four goals over its last two contests, the Red has allowed just one to maintain the unbeaten streak.
“One thing about our group is that we are tough to score on and when your team is tough to score on, you don’t know who’s going to pop up to get the goal for you,” remarked Scales. “We feel pretty confident that we have the guys that can protect leads. This group is coming along.”
Yale has played some close contests this season as well. When Boston College scored its first goal late in the second half, it snapped goalie Matt Aleksinas’s 573-minute shutout skein. Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Elis had won five straight 1-0 games, including wins over league rivals Harvard and Dartmouth. Against the Green, Brian Roberts scored the gamewinner just as the closing horn sounded.
“Our guys have been in close games, their guys have been in close games, we both have hot goalkeepers,” said Scales. “Our group is a gritty bunch of guys and they’ll work extremely hard to get the win on Saturday.”
On offense for the Bulldogs, freshman Alex Munns leads the team with three goals, while junior Andrew Dealy has netted two goals and three assists for a team-high seven points. Junior Lindsey Williams and senior Jay Alberts are also dangerous threats up top.
“They’re a handful going forward. They’ll give our back four and our midfield all that we can handle. It’ll be a pretty good atmosphere down there, they’ll have a lot of fans,” said Scales. “We just have to know going in that it’s going to be pretty intense and emotional just like the Harvard game was last weekend.”
While the Red has yet to play the bulk of its conference schedule, this weekend’s match will be a crucial test for the team.
“Right now we’re just trying to take every practice a day at a time and make sure that we’re improving every day which I think we have over the past three weeks.”
The squad hits the road again for a midweek game at Syracuse and will return home for a 7 p.m. contest next Saturday against Brown.
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach