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Bulldogs Add Five In Class of 2015

The Yale men's soccer huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
The Yale men's soccer huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Ambiel, Brown, Lachenbruch, Michalak, Morice New To Roster

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale men's soccer coach Brian Tompkins will welcome five freshmen to New Haven this fall.

"The Yale soccer Class of 2015 features a group of young men who have demonstrated an impressive commitment to be the best students, athletes and people they can be," Tompkins said. "This talented group will feature players of varying types who all have the ability to impact the fortunes of our program in very positive ways.  Their collective technical and tactical abilities will strengthen and enhance our play both with and without the ball this season, and I look forward to integrating them into the squad."

Here is a closer look at the Class of 2015:

Peter Ambiel    
Los Altos, Calif.    
Los Altos HS
MVLA Raptors

Before Yale: Played for the MVLA Raptors 92 Gold club team since 2002… Raptors were a US Club regional finalist in 2010… Starter for the Region IV ODP travel team… Participated in the 2010 Dallas Cup and 2009 Disney Showcase… Two-time first team all-league selection at Los Altos High School… Was the league's second leading scorer as a sophomore.

Personal: Volunteer for Kick, Lead, Dream, a non-profit soccer camp for at risk youth.

Why Yale? "I was attracted to Yale because it unites outstanding academics and competitive Division I soccer perfectly."

Tompkins says: "Peter plays on a very good club team and brings us quality and versatility. He has the technical ability and game sense to play as a midfielder or a striker, and I am looking forward to adding his offensive flair to our attack."

Blake Brown   
Mansfield, Texas       
Legacy HS
Solar Red '93

Before Yale: District most valuable player as a senior at Legacy High School… Helped lead Legacy to district championship… First team all-state selection as a junior… Team captain… Member of the Olympic Development state and regional pool throughout high school… Played for the Solar Red '93 club team, which was a national finalist in 2007-08… Member of U16/U18 USSF Academy team which was a Disney Cup finalist in 2010 and a Dallas Cup semifinalist in 2011… Also played tennis.

Personal: Breast Cancer Awareness Drive Volunteer… Plans to study pre-med at Yale.

Why Yale? "When presented with the opportunity to attend Yale, I was very honored and excited. After visiting the campus, I was sold. Yale and the students welcomed me in and I felt right at home."

Tompkins says: "Blake has all the tools to be an outstanding college goalkeeper; he has size, athleticism, technical ability and a willingness to improve.  His experiences in the Development Academy with the Solar club means that he comes to us having played with and against some of the country's best players. If all the pieces fall into place, I foresee a great future for him as one of the Ivy League's best keepers."

Conner Lachenbruch        
San Diego, Calif.      
Rancho Bernardo HS
FC San Diego

Before Yale: All-CIF first team selection as a senior at Rancho Bernardo High School… Three-time all-league selection… Named to San Diego All-Academic team twice… Helped Rancho Bernardo to its first CIF championship and an ESPN Rise national ranking of 16th in his senior year… Team went 22-2-1 in his junior year, was the CIF runner up and was ranked fourth by ESPN Rise… Played club soccer for FC San Diego, who won four league championships and was nationally ranked.

Personal: Special needs academic tutor… Delivered Christmas gifts and played soccer with children at an orphanage in Mexico for two years.

Why Yale? "Yale is the perfect fit for me – outstanding academics, great people and a competitive soccer program. There is no place I would rather spend my four years of college."

Tompkins says: "Conner is somebody that impressed me with his winning mentality the very first time I saw him play. His passion for competing and leadership made him a midfield mainstay on a very good FC San Diego team, and his skill and game understanding will make him a very good college player."     

Kevin Michalak        
Farmington, Conn.    
Farmington HS
Oakwood Soccer Academy

Before Yale: Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior at Farmington High School… Named to 2010 NSCAA All-America team… Two-time All-New England and all-state selection… 2010 Hartford Courant Player of the Year… Most valuable player of the Class LL state tournament as a senior… Team captain… Helped lead Farmington to two state championships (2008, 2010)… Recipient of the 2010 Dr. Valerio Moretti Scholar-Athlete Award from the Connecticut Soccer Coaches Association… Played for the Oakwood Soccer Academy… Selected to the 2010 Academy Select Team, the Sarasota Showcase… Named to the 2010 New York Red Bulls High School Cup All Star team.

Personal: Three-year American Red Cross volunteer… Relay for Life participant… Member of National Honors Society.

Why Yale? "Yale is among the most prestigious colleges in the world and will provide me with an exceptional education. In addition, Coach Tompkins will help me grow as a soccer player and a person."

Tompkins says: "Kevin is a top class player with the ability to be one of the Ivy League's very best, and I am delighted to have a homegrown Connecticut player of his ability joining our squad.  He has an artistic feel for the game and plays with a savvy and finesse that make it possible for him to play almost any position on the field.  I believe he has only just begun to scratch the surface of his considerable talents and expect him to be a force to be reckoned with during his time at Yale."

Max Morice      
Stillwater, Minn.        
Shattuck-St. Mary's Academy

Before Yale: Played for the Shattuck St. Mary's Club team in the US Developmental Academy. Shattuck provides a developmental environment similar to those found in youth academies at professional clubs around the world while at the same time offering a rigorous college preparatory education to those players who are enrolled in the residential academy program... Helped Shattuck to the 2010 Minnesota State Cup title.

Personal: Father Pierre played professional soccer with Nantes in the France First Division and the Minnesota Thunder in the United States... Brother Peter played soccer at Columbia.

Why Yale? "I chose Yale because it is the only place where I can pursue my passion for soccer while getting one of the best educations in the world."

Tompkins says: "Max plays the game with passion and flair honed during his time in the Shattuck Academy and is one of the best left-footed crossers of the ball that I have seen for some time. He thrives on individual duels but is also a clever passer and will give us balance on the left side of the field.  He comes from a talented soccer family and I look forward to his intensity and creative contributions within the team."

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity