Sports

Late mistake erases early lead for men’s soccer in draw with Bulldogs

Norhagen ’19 records career-high seven saves against Bulldogs, notching first draw of rookie campaign

By
Staff Writer
Monday, November 9, 2015

Tim Whalen ’16 runs up the field and looks for a pass from a teammate. Whalen struck early in the contest against the Bulldogs, scoring the Bears’ only goal of the game just under six minutes into the first half. But his would be the only goal Bruno managed, as Yale scored in the 90th minute and kept the game scoreless in overtime to force a draw.

Roughly 110 minutes of game time was not enough for the men’s soccer team to find a victory, as it drew 1-1 with Yale Saturday night. The tie dropped the Bears (9-5-2, 3-1-2 Ivy) into third place in the league, while Yale earned only its second point of the year at the bottom of the table.

“We felt we controlled the majority of the game, and a mistake in the last minute let Yale sneak in for a tie,” said co-captain Tim Whalen ’16. “For Yale, it was probably like a win. For us, it felt like a loss.”

But in the end, the result did not matter — Dartmouth won its game and secured its second straight Ivy League title.

Though the Bears can no longer secure automatic qualification for the NCAA tournament, they are still in pursuit of one of the 24 available at-large bids. Going into the weekend, Bruno was ranked 43rd in the country based on its Rating Percentage Index, and it remains to be seen how this result will affect its standing.

The Bears started the game out strong, striking first in the sixth minute. Jack Hagstrom ’19 sent a ball into the box, which led to a scramble in front of the net. Whalen emerged from the chaos and deflected the cross past the Bulldogs’ keeper for his second goal of the year.

The rest of the half was a flurry of chances by both sides, with neither team producing many legitimately dangerous attempts. The Bulldogs’ best opportunity of the half was a free kick from just outside the box that Teo Norhagen ’19 dealt with easily. The Bears generated nine shots in the first half compared to Yale’s three, but they only managed two on target during that span. The score remained at 1-0 going into halftime.

In the second half, the Bears continued to be frustrated by the Bulldogs’ typically porous defense and found it difficult to put the game away. Shots were there for the taking — the team had eight in the second half — but few were on target.

The defining moment of the game came with 41 seconds left. Avery Schwartz received the ball down the right-hand side and crossed it into the box in a desperate search for the equalizer. Defender Philip Piper rose up and headed the ball on frame. The ball went right through Norhagen’s hands and knotted the score at one, sending the game into overtime.

The Bulldogs made the most of their second chance at victory and arguably had the better opportunities during the overtime periods. Most notably, Schwartz had a chance in the second overtime period to put the game to bed, but Norhagen made a very important kick save to preserve the tie. After the 20 extra minutes, the game ended in a 1-1 stalemate.

Norhagen made a career-high seven saves in the game and remains undefeated on the season. Though the first-year netminder was not able to get his hands behind the save that would have won the game, he made the save that prevented the team from losing.

The Bears held the overall shot advantage at 19-14, but they did not take full advantage of Yale’s weak defense, which had given up an astonishing 32 goals all season.

The Bears hope to deal Dartmouth its first conference loss of the year in its regular season finale and Senior Day game next weekend at Stevenson-Pincince Field.

“Going into (the Dartmouth game), our mindset remains focused,” Whalen said. “Dartmouth has beaten us the last three years. I’d love nothing more than to beat them this weekend.”

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