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Bulldogs Drop Heartbreaker In Ivy Opener

Cameron Riach (Steve Musco photo)
Cameron Riach (Steve Musco photo)

Harvard Edges Yale 1-0

It was a frustrating start to Ivy League play for the Yale men's soccer team. The Bulldogs carried the play for a majority of Saturday's game at Harvard, but it was the Crimson who tallied the only goal.

It came when Alfred Perez intercepted a header intended to go back to the Yale goalkeeper and chipped it in midway through the second half. Harvard held on from there for a 1-0 victory on a gorgeous afternoon in Cambridge.

The Bulldogs, who had their three-game winning streak snapped, outshot the Crimson 8-5 and had an 8-3 advantage in corner kicks.

Yale (4-3-1, 0-1-0 Ivy) started strong and had the first three shots of the game. By halftime, the Bulldogs edge in shots was 6-3, but the game was scoreless.

After Harvard's goal, Yale applied heavy pressure but couldn't get the equalizer. The best chance came when Miguel Yuste fired a shot from the top of box with less than five minutes left. Harvard goalkeeper Matt Freese, though, jumped and got just enough of it to deflect it over the crossbar.

"This was one of those games where you shake your head and wonder how in the world that just happened," said Kylie Stannard, the 5K Corral Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "I was very happy with our overall performance and our guys should feel good about how we played.  Unfortunately, our game is one of small margins, and Harvard capitalized on one of very few chances they had. Credit to them for digging in at the end."

Overall, Stannard was pleased with much of his team's offensive play.

"We did great with our ball movement and certainly created some great chances, but we needed to capitalize on those, especially early on when we were all over them," he said. "We wasted a lot of additional opportunities on restarts today so that will be an especially big focus this coming week."

The good news for the Bulldogs is it is still very early in the league season.

"Luckily, we have six more Ivy games left and this will be good motivation for us to improve and remind ourselves of the important details that are paramount to win games," Stannard said.

Yale plays at Dartmouth next Saturday. Kickoff is slated for 4:30 p.m.

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