September 29, 2009

Shorthanded Bulldogs Fall At Sacred Heart

Yale Outshoots Pioneers 15-11 But Drops 4-0 Decision

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Illness and injuries left the Yale men's soccer team quite shorthanded for Tuesday's game with Sacred Heart. Nevertheless, Yale outshot the Pioneers 15-11 and had a big edge in possession time. The Bulldogs, though, couldn't take advantage of their scoring chances. Sacred Heart, on the other hand, capitalized on almost every opportunity. The result was a deceiving 4-0 victory for the Pioneers on a breezy afternoon at Campus Field.

"In nearly 25 years of coaching, I have never been a part of a game like this, where we controlled play but lost so decisively," said Yale head coach Brian Tompkins. "Considering the people we were missing, I thought we played very, very well. The scoring line doesn't represent in any way the amount of possession time we had and the way we played."

Four different players scored for Sacred Heart (3-3). Brian Francolini had one goal and one assist, while Giancarlo Massaro, Marcello Castro and Justin Brewer also scored.

With the Ivy League opener against Harvard looming on Saturday, Tompkins elected to rest starting goalkeeper Travis Chulick, who had played every minute of the first six games, and give his two young keepers - sophomore Matt Chesky and freshman Bobby Thalman - some experience.

Yale (2-3-2) had the first three shots of the game and six of the first seven, but the Pioneers grabbed a 1-0 lead on Massaro's goal at 37:31. Chesky made an initial save on Jesper Fredriksson's shot, but Massaro was able to bang in the rebound.

Nearly five minutes later, SHU struck again. This time, Castro blasted a shot into the lower left corner from nearly 35 yards out.

So despite outshooting Sacred Heart 10-4, the Bulldogs trailed 2-0 at the intermission.

"Everything we did was close," Tompkins said. "We just didn't capitalize early in the game. We couldn't turn our chances into a definitive strike."

Francolini's goal at 74:57 made it 3-0, and Brewer capped the scoring at 84:53.

Yale's frustration only grew in the second half. Justin Song drilled a free kick from just outside the box off the crossbar, and Andy Shorten's header hit the post in the final minute.

Chesky, who made his first career start, finished with two saves. Thalman, who played the final 45 minutes, also stopped two shots.

The Bulldogs host Harvard on Saturday at 7 p.m. on Alumni Day at Reese Stadium. At halftime, the 1999 team which reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament will be honored.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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