Facing a 0-1 conference record and a four-game losing streak, the men’s soccer team entered their matchup against Princeton Saturday in need of a win to stay competitive in the Ivy League.
Brown was unable to deliver the victory, battling Princeton to a 1-1 tie. The Bears spent most of the game in the lead, but an 87th minute free-kick goal from the Tigers sent the game to overtime, where neither squad could land a decisive blow.
“I’m proud of the energy, effort and fight,” said Head Coach Patrick Laughlin. “For us, it’s a step forward. … We’re close.”
Princeton (6-3-1, 0-1-1 Ivy) looked to have the edge in the opening minutes, as the Tigers dominated possession and threatened with a corner kick opportunity. But the Bears (1-6-1, 0-1-1) held firm and denied the Tigers from taking an early lead.
In the 14th minute, Brown took control of the game with a goal from co-captain Jackson Goebel ’20. Austin Lind ’20 took a pass deep on the near sideline and fired a perfect pass into the goal box. Goebel managed to corral the ball and sent it screaming past Princeton goalkeeper Jacob Schachner for the score. The goal was the first of Goebel’s career and the first shot on goal of the game.
“We started off really hot, which we had a bit of trouble of doing earlier in the season,” said co-captain Daniel Schiller ’20.
As the half continued, the Bears continued to challenge the Princeton defense with deep passes. Derek Waleffe ’22 had a golden opportunity off of a long pass and sent a low shot toward the goal, but Schachner came to the rescue for the Tigers and prevented Brown from taking a two-goal lead. Moments later, Waleffe collected the ball on the near sideline and delivered a pass to Schiller, who was able to beat the defender and send a shot barely wide of the net.
But the Tigers, who also came into this game searching for their first Ivy victory, began to put pressure on the defense and Bruno goalkeeper James Swomley ’22. In the 34th minute, after a sequence of sustained possession in Brown territory, Princeton sent a shot towards Swomley that required an athletic save to maintain the Bruno advantage.
At halftime, the Bears held the lead, but Princeton was more active on offense, leading in shots 8-4, shots on goal 3-2 and corner kicks 7-0.
Early in the second period, the Tigers continued to control possession but were unable to create any meaningful shots. Princeton’s chances for victory seemingly took a major blow in the 54th minute when Truman Gelnovatch earned a red card that put the Tigers down to ten men.
The Bears had a chance to put the game away in the 74th minute, as Goebel eluded the defense on a counterattack and stood wide open at the edge of the18-yard box. Goebel got the ball, took his time and launched a promising shot toward the goal, which was just barely saved by Schachner. Moments later, the Tigers rocketed a deep shot that required a diving, airborne save from Swomley to protect the Bruno lead.
In the 87th minute, the Tigers were awarded a free kick outside of the 18-yard box with a final chance to tie the game. Princeton delivered in the clutch, as Danny Hampton launched a kick that just barely slipped past Swomley to knot the contest at one and send the teams to sudden-death overtime.
“It’s tough letting up a goal like that,” Swomley said. “I’m happy with some parts of my performance with the shot-stopping, but I maybe could have done better with some kicks and crosses.”
Just three minutes into the extra period, Princeton had a perfect chance to end the game on their 20th shot of the matchup, but the ball curled inches wide of the post to keep the Bears alive. A few minutes later, Swomley made a critical save to again deny Princeton the walk-off victory. After 10 minutes of play in the first overtime, the contest went to a final extra stanza.
The second overtime mostly passed quietly, as neither the Bears nor Tigers could find the edge and create a promising scoring opportunity. But with less than 30 seconds to go in the game and Princeton threatening deep in Bruno territory, Swomley made a one-handed, circus save to avoid another stunning goal.
“Maybe at the start of the season, we lose (this) game,” Schiller said. “But we’ve clearly been growing as a team and the desire… is there.”
As the final buzzer rang to end the game in a 1-1 tie, exhausted players from both teams collapsed on the pitch. The game had been very physical, as the Bears and Tigers racked up a total of 38 fouls. Princeton led the Bears 28-12 in total shots, 12-4 in shots on goal and 10-3 in corner kicks.
Princeton plays “at a really high pace and a very intense style of play,” Laughlin said. “We did a great job meeting that. …The guys worked extremely hard.”
The Bears will next take the field at home against Ocean State rival University of Rhode Island Tuesday at 7 p.m.