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Dramatic Comeback Earns Yale A 2-2 Tie With Dartmouth

Miguel Yuste (Steve Musco photo)
Miguel Yuste (Steve Musco photo)

Yuste's Goal In Final Minute Caps Bulldog Rally

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – One of Yale's best halves of the season couldn't have come at a better time. Trailing Dartmouth 2-0, the Bulldogs responded with a dominant 45 minutes and got some late magic from Miguel Yuste to earn a 2-2 tie with the Big Green on an unseasonably warm and muggy afternoon at Reese Stadium.

Yuste scored with 40 seconds left in the second half to complete the dramatic comeback. It was a highlight reel goal. Goalkeeper Tom Wallenstein sent a long ball forward. Kyle Kenagy won it, heading it forward to Yuste, who took a couple of quick dribbles and rifled a shot into the corner from the wing.

"This is a big result for this team," said Kylie Stannard, the 5K Corral Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "If you want to win the Ivy League, you have to go through Dartmouth.  They're a very good team, and there is a reason they have won the Ivy League three straight times and are ranked in the Top 20 right now."

The Big Green, who brought a seven-game winning streak to Reese, controlled the first half.

Dartmouth scored a pretty goal at 11:06 to grab the early lead. Zach Kalk sent a long cross to Noah Paravinci inside the box. Paravinci tapped it across to Eduvie Ikoba, who banged it home from right in front.

Ikoba struck again nearly 13 minutes later. This time he finished after Wallenstein got a piece of Dawson McCartney shot.

The Bulldogs regrouped at halftime, and got right back in the game when Cameron Riach headed home a Mark Winhoffer cross just 3 minutes, 54 seconds into the second half.

Yale's defense bottled up Dartmouth, holding the Big Green without a shot over the second 45 minutes.

"I'm still not sure what team was playing against Dartmouth in the first half because it certainly didn't look like our team.  Whatever happened in the first half, our guys did an excellent job of hitting the reset button and starting fresh in the second half," Stannard said. "We knew that if we could get an early goal, we were still in the game and we would shift the momentum.  We did a great job coming out and getting that early goal.  Not only did we play well from there on out, we dominated possession and scoring chances against a very good Dartmouth team.

"This is a resilient group, and we are very proud of their mentality to keep fighting," Stannard added. "Some teams would have laid down and quit after our poor first half, but these guys have great spirit and they are starting to believe in themselves more and more.  This result should create great positivity and belief in these players for what they can accomplish when they play with pride and fight on every play."

Both teams had opportunities in overtime. The Bulldogs' best scoring chance came early when Nicky Downs got behind the defense and got off a shot that just tricked wide of the far post.

Wallenstein, who was making his first career start in goal for Yale, spoiled Dartmouth's best chance when he snared a Matthew Ranieri shot midway through the first overtime.

Yale got contributions from a number of players, which was particularly important given the conditions.

"I was really happy to see our depth today with a lot of guys getting minutes and stepping up when we have three or four regular starters out right now," Stannard said. "I think we had five [first-year players] on the field at one point and they were doing well.  It shows the progress we are making."

It also was an important day off the field as the Bulldogs raised money and awareness for Grassroots Soccer. The players wore Grassroot Soccer t-shirts during warmups, and Stannard wore his throughout the game.

"It was fun bringing some additional awareness to Grassroots Soccer today, and we raised a few thousand dollars for a great cause," Stannard said. "Thanks to everyone for their support."

Grassroots Soccer is an international adolescent health organization that educates, inspires, and mobilizes young people to overcome their greatest health challenges and live healthier, more productive lives. Grassroot Soccer's work in Southern Africa and throughout the world connects at-risk young people with the mentors, information, and health services they need to thrive, and empowers adolescents to make educated choices about pressing health challenges such as HIV/AIDS, sexual health, gender-based violence, and malaria. To date, Grassroot Soccer has reached more than 2 million young people in 50 countries.

The Bulldogs take a break from Ivy play when they travel to Lafayette on Tuesday. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett (timothy.bennett@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity