No. 18 St. John’s Hands Yale Heartbreaking Defeat

Cody Wilkins. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Cody Wilkins. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Winning Goal Comes On Own Goal In Overtime

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – In its final game before the start of Ivy League play, the Yale men's soccer team showed it could compete with one of the best teams in the nation. The Bulldogs went toe-to-toe with 18th-ranked St. John's before dropping a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime decision. The winning goal came just 52 seconds into the extra period on an own goal.

"Our players responded really well against a high-level opponent," said Yale head coach Brian Tompkins. "We really took the game at them."

The Bulldogs (1-7-1) played particularly well in the first half and grabbed a 1-0 lead when Andy Hackbarth scored on a penalty kick at 36:57. Yale was awarded the kick after a St. John's hand ball in the box. It was Hackbarth's second successful penalty kick this season.

The Bulldogs nearly grabbed a two-goal lead late in the first half. Kevin Peterson made a nifty cross into the box. Max McKiernan was there and got off a quick shot, but St. John's goalkeeper Rafael Diaz dove to his right to snare it.

"It could've been 2-0 at halftime but that was a great save," Tompkins said.

The Red Storm (6-2) tied it at 64:58. Sverre Wegge-Gundhus sent a corner kick into the box. Jordan Rouse tapped it back to Pablo Battuto Punyed, who fired a shot into the net from 15 yards out.

Yale nearly won it in the final minutes but Cody Wilkins' diving header of Jenner Fox's corner kick went just high.

The winning goal came off a corner kick, St. John's 14th of the night. Jimmy Mulligan sent it toward the goal where it deflected off a Yale defender's chest and into the net.

The loss was Yale's fifth one-goal defeat this season and the second in overtime.

"In spite of the outcome, I thought we really showed a great competitive desire," Tompkins said. "We were dangerous and we defended with a lot of conviction. We deserved more out of the game."

Goalkeeper Bobby Thalman was again sharp, finishing with seven saves for the Bulldogs.

St. John's had a 16-9 edge in shots.

The Bulldogs open Ivy play at Harvard on Saturday. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity