October 1, 2011

Dennen’s Goal Lifts Yale Past Harvard 1-0

Thalman Makes Eight Saves To Post Shutout

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Senior Chris Dennen sure made the most of his final game against Harvard. Dennen scored early in the first half and then helped the Yale defense hold off the Crimson the rest of the way en route to a thrilling 1-0 victory before a big crowd of 1,436 at Reese Stadium.

"It was nice for [Chris] to get the game-winner," said Yale head coach Brian Tompkins of his captain. "A lot of our improvement is due to his leadership."

It was Yale's first victory over Harvard since 2005

Dennen put the Bulldogs on the board at 13:17. Marcus DiLallo sent a long throw in to Peter Jacobson, who headed it to Dennen, who headed it in.

"We were able to find that one key moment," Tompkins said. "It was a well orchestrated goal."

Goalkeeper Bobby Thalman made it stand up. He finished with eight saves to post his second shutout of the season.

"To win a close game, chances are your goalkeeper is going to have to make a big save, and Bobby made two or three," Tompkins said. "He is maturing into a very effective goalkeeper."

His best stop came less than three minutes after Yale had taken the lead. Harvard's Zack Wolfenzon fired a hard shot that appeared labeled for the corner, but Thalman dove to his left and got just enough of it to deflect it wide.

Thalman also came up big a couple of times in the second half, including another diving stop to rob Connor McCarthy with less than 15 minutes remaining.

Harvard finished with a 19-7 edge in shots and had a 5-0 advantage in corner kicks. The Bulldogs, though, kept their poise throughout.

"We're a scrappy bunch," Tompkins said. "If you don't compete in a spirited way in a rivalry game, you won't be successful. I thought both teams competed really hard."

The Bulldogs (5-4-1, 1-0 Ivy) are back in action next Saturday when they host Dartmouth at 3 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity