September 23, 2011

Bulldogs Drop 1-0 Decision To Fairfield

Stags Get Only Goal Midway Through Second Half

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – All night it seemed the Yale men's soccer team was taking corner kicks in Friday's game with Fairfield. The Bulldogs finished with a season-high 11 but weren't able to capitalize on any. The Stags, meanwhile, had only two but one of them turned out to be the deciding factor in the game.

Midway through the second half, Jon Clements sent a corner kick that Yale goalkeeper Bobby Thalman seemed to have a beat on. He couldn't control it, though, and it trickled in to the net for what turned out to be the only goal of the game on a rainy night at Reese Stadium.

"It's unfortunate to lose on a freak goal," Yale head coach Brian Tompkins said. "Games turn on different events and this one turned on an accident really. I didn't think we deserved to lose."

The Bulldogs, who lost for the first time at home, outshot Fairfield 15-8 and seemed to have the better of the play for much of the game.

"We didn't pass the ball as well as we needed to, and we didn't execute as well as we can," Tompkins said.

Still, Yale had a couple of good scoring chances that were denied by Fairfield goalkeeper Michael O'Keeffe.

Late in the first half, Aden Farina-Henry got off a hard shot that appeared to be headed into the lower right corner. O'Keeffe, though, dove to his left and got just enough of it to deflect it wide.

Farina-Henry had another opportunity early in the second half, but was again denied by O'Keeffe.

Yale's last chance came in the final two minutes, but O'Keeffe again came up big, stopping a hard shot from Chris Dennen.

"This will be a learning experience for us," Tompkins said. "Even though you hate to lose, I think this experience will benefit us down the road."

The Bulldogs have two more games before the Ivy League opener against Harvard. Yale is at Rhode Island on Sunday at 1 p.m. and then travels to No. 2 UConn next Tuesday night.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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