October 22, 2008

Bulldogs Earn Scoreless Tie With 15th-Ranked UConn

Oct. 22, 2008

Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

STORRS, Conn. - All season long, Yale has been stingy in allowing goals. Wednesday night at 15th-ranked UConn, the Bulldogs faced one of their toughest challenges of the season, and they passed with flying colors. Travis Chulick made seven saves to post his sixth shutout of the season as Yale earned a scoreless tie with the Huskies in front of a crowd of 3,003 on a chilly night at Morrone Stadium.

"That was as gutsy a performance as we've had all season," said Yale head coach Brian Tompkins. "We weathered some times of intense pressure, and there were times when we had them scrambling in the back."

The Bulldogs' defense of Alex Guzinski, Frank Piasta, Jordan Raybould, Andy Hackbarth, Markus Jackson and Justin Song was outstanding.

"It's not easy to get a shutout against an offensive powerhouse like UConn," Tompkins said. "We tried not to let them get behind our backs, and I thought for the most part they didn't. Our experience really showed."

Yale (5-6-2) also had a couple of good scoring chances. Early in the second half, Guzinski had a free kick from just outside the box. He fired a low shot that got through UConn's wall, but goalkeeper Josh Ford smothered it by the far post.

UConn (7-3-5) had a good opportunity off a free kick a few minutes later. Mike Pezza sent his kick back to Shawn Nicklaw, who blasted a shot that Chulick punched away.

Yale had the best opportunity in the first 10-minute overtime period when Andy Shorten fired a shot just wide right after dribbling through traffic.

The Huskies had two good scoring chances in the second extra session. Joe Boa sent a ball toward the goal from the near side that Chulick barely deflected over the crossbar. Then, with less than a minute remaining, Andrew McKie saw a ball come to him on the right side of the box after a mad scramble in front, but his shot sailed high.

UConn finished with a 24-6 edge in shots and had 13 corner kicks, including nine in the first half.

It was Yale's second straight strong performance against a top non-league opponent. Last Tuesday night, the Bulldogs dropped a heartbreaking 2-1 decision to defending ACC champion Boston College when the Eagles scored as time expired in the second half.

"We've played two top-20 caliber teams in the last week and acquitted ourselves very well," Tompkins said.

The Yale-UConn game was televised by Cox Sports Television. It will re-air on SNY on Sunday at 1 p.m. SNY, which televises New York Mets' games, is available in much of the Northeast and nationally on DirecTV and the Dish Network.

The Bulldogs are back in action on Saturday when they host Penn. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Reese Stadium.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

Video by David Dikranian