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Bulldogs Drop Heartbreaker To No. 1 UConn In Double Overtime

Chris Dennen. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Chris Dennen. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Huskies Score Winning Goal With 1:01 Left In Second Overtime

STORRS, Conn. – Tuesday afternoon, the UConn men's soccer team learned it had taken over the No. 1 ranking in the NSCAA national poll. Tuesday night, Yale came within a minute of making the Huskies' stay at the top short-lived.

Nickardo Blake, though, scored with 1:01 left in the second overtime period to lift UConn to a 1-0 victory over the Bulldogs on a humid night before a crowd of 2,225 at Morrone Stadium.

The winning goal came off a corner kick. Allando Matheson's header was stopped by a Yale defender, but the rebound came to Blake, who banged it in from 12 yards out.

"It was one heck of a game," said Yale head coach Brian Tompkins. "For us to take the No. 1 team in the country to the last seconds of overtime is a tremendous effort by our guys. We defended with great discipline and attacked them with confidence. I thought at the very least we deserved a tie."

Nevertheless, the strong performance should serve Yale well as it prepares for Saturday's Ivy League opener against Harvard.

"This was our best and most disciplined tactical performance of the season," Tompkins said. "Even though the result is disappointing, I think we proved some things to ourselves. This result will make us even more hungry to do well in the Ivy League."

The Bulldogs (4-4-1) had opportunities to score. Midway through the first half, Chris Dennen got his head on a Jenner Fox corner kick but it was stopped by a UConn defender.

Yale had three of the first four shots in the second half, but Huskies goalkeeper Andre Blake stopped two of them.

Max Morice had the last chance of regulation but his shot in the final seconds was high.

UConn had only a 15-9 edge in shots after 90 minutes. The Huskies, though, controlled the two overtime periods.

Fortunately for the Bulldogs, goalkeeper Bobby Thalman was up to the challenge. He made four of his seven saves in the extra sessions.

UConn (9-0) has now posted six consecutive shutouts. The Huskies haven't allowed a goal since a 4-1 win over California on Sept. 4 and have outscored their opponents 16-2 on the season.

Yale will host Harvard on Saturday at 7 p.m. on Alumni Night at Reese Stadium.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity