Sports

Men’s soccer battle to scoreless draw against Bulldogs

Bruno unable to capitalize on scoring opportunities, eliminated from Ivy League title hunt

By
Staff Writer
Sunday, November 5, 2017

The men’s soccer team entered its final away game of the season in third place, taking on the last-placed Yale Bulldogs Saturday. Neither squad was able to take control of the match, which ended in a 0-0 tie. With the tie and with Dartmouth’s win earlier in the day, Brown was officially eliminated from contention for the Ivy League title.

“(Defense) is something we have prided ourselves on the entire season — getting good pressure on the ball, forcing them wide and limiting their chances,” said Louis Zingas ’18. “We created dangerous opportunities to score from turnovers and probably should have scored on a couple of different occasions.”

The start of the game was marked by inaccurate passes from both squads and neither team could maintain possession to create a sustained attack. In the 12th minute, a long pass allowed Quinn English ’18 to break through the defense to rocket a shot that landed directly in the chest of Yale goalkeeper Andrew Bortey. Moments later, Josh Totte managed to sneak through the Brown defense to launch a wide open shot, which required a diving save from goalkeeper Joey Cipicchio ’18.

For the rest of the half, both offenses relied on controlling 50/50 balls that were not converted into any likely scoring opportunities. At halftime, Yale led Brown 5-2 in shots while the Bears led 3-2 in corner kicks. Both teams had just one shot on goal throughout the first period.

The second half began much more aggressively for both sides. In the 51st minute, Bruno was able to work the ball into the 18-yard box but could not convert a shot in the face of Yale’s strong defense. Just a minute later, Jack Hagstrom ’19 managed to head a dangerous ball that was handled by Bortey.

In the 59th minute, Miguel Yuste used his speed to open up a lane and shoot from the top of the box. A diving Cipicchio was barely able to handle the low shot and keep the score level. Ten minutes later, Cameron Riach got open on a corner kick and sent a wide-open shot high of the net to squander a Yale opportunity.

In the 74th minute, the Bulldogs had another scoring chance when Ryan Matteo delivered a low, sluggish shot just wide of the net. Nico Lozada ’18 almost gave Brown the lead in the 86th minute when he delivered a powerful shot from the top of the box that was saved by a leaping Bortey, who sent the ball high and out of play.

At the end of regulation, Yale led 14-13 in shots while the Bears led 10-6 in corner kicks. Each team earned a yellow card for a combined total of 23 fouls. Zingas almost ended the game in the 98th minute with a header, but the ball sailed high of the net, preserving the tie.

Yuste responded in the 100th minute with a curling shot, but it was handled by Cipicchio as the end of the first overtime neared. In the second period of extra time, the Bears and Bulldogs showed the fatigue of a 100-minute-game, as the clock ran down, ending the game in a scoreless tie.

“Overall, this season hasn’t been exactly as we wanted it,” Zingas said. “But we proved early on that we could play with and beat the best teams in the country. The challenge for the squad next year is just finding the consistency needed to win week in and week out.”

The Bears will return home to Stevenson-Pincince Field for senior night Saturday to play Dartmouth, this year’s Ivy League champion, in the final game of the season at 5 p.m.