Thalman Finishes With Four Saves For Bulldogs
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – South Carolina is one of the premier men's soccer programs in the nation. The Gamecocks have made 18 NCAA Tournament appearances since 1978. Yale gave USC all it could handle on Sunday on the second day of the Brown Classic, but South Carolina held on for a 1-0 victory at Stevenson Field.
Bradlee Baladez scored the only goal of the game early in the second half. It came off a corner kick. USC's initial shot was blocked, but the ball came to Baladez, who drove it in to the lower left corner.
"We played well," said Yale head coach Brian Tompkins. "We knew it would be hard. South Carolina is very athletic, but I thought we matched them really well. It was perhaps our best soccer of the season so far."
Both teams had seven shots on goal in the first half. Yale had the better of the play early and had a couple of scoring chances. Eric Meyer and Max McKiernan both had shots saved by Gamecock goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer in the first 13 minutes.
After South Carolina scored, Yale had a few opportunities to tie, but Maurer was again equal to the challenge. He stopped a Chris Dennen shot in the 81st minute and finished with seven saves to post the shutout. Bobby Thalman stopped four shots for the Bulldogs.
South Carolina (3-2) had a 19-11 edge in shots and a 6-5 advantage in corner kicks in the game.
Two Yale players – freshmen McKiernan and Nick Alers – were named to the all-tournament team.
"We had several guys perform well but they were both deserving of the recognition," Tompkins said. "Max did a lot of good work in the midfield and Nick played with a lot of composure in the back."
The Bulldogs play their home opener on Wednesday night against Central Connecticut. Kickoff at newly renovated Reese Stadium is slated for 7 p.m.
"We're getting better," Tompkins said. "We just need a result to go our way."
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity