September 7, 2012

Bulldogs Earn Scoreless Tie With Defending Patriot League Champion Colgate

Thalman Makes Five Saves To Post Shutout

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The complexion of Friday's game with Colgate took a dramatic turn for Yale just 10 minutes in when Andy Hackbarth was issued a red card. It forced the Bulldogs to play a man down for the rest of the game. And that turned out to be quite a long time. One-hundred five minutes to be exact.

And during that time, Yale rose to the challenge in a big way. Bobby Thalman made five saves, including a big one in the final seconds of the second overtime, as the Bulldogs played a scoreless tie with the defending Patriot League champion Red Raiders on a warm and humid night at Reese Stadium.

"This was a real character builder for us," said Yale head coach Brian Tompkins.

The final statistics certainly don't show that the Bulldogs played with 10 players for most of the night. Colgate had only a 12-10 edge in shots, and Yale had five corner kicks to the Red Raiders' four.

In fact, the Bulldogs had the best scoring chances in the game. The first came just before Hackbarth's red card. Kevin Michalak made a nifty move to settle a pass just outside the box and got off a hard shot that banged off the right post. The rebound came to Peter Jacobson, but his shot went wide.

Then late in the first overtime, a careless Colgate turnover gave Max McKiernan an opportunity, and he rifled a shot that deflected off the crossbar.

Hackbarth was issued the card at 9:55 when he took down a Colgate player who had a clear path to the goal.

"We had to make some adjustments both technically and psychologically," Tompkins said. "I thought our defense played magnificently. I'm really proud of our guys."

The Bulldogs' backline benefitted from the return of Nick Alers, who missed the first two games of the season with an injury.

The teams combined for only 10 shots in regulation, but the action picked up in the extra periods as both teams had six shots. Thalman, though, was the busier of the two goalkeepers. Four of his five saves came in overtime.

His biggest save was his last one when he came out of his net to smother a Shane Conlin shot with eight seconds left.

"I think Bobby is the best goalkeeper in the Ivy League," Tompkins said. "He was fantastic tonight. Under duress, you need inspired performances and we got quite a few tonight."

The Bulldogs (0-2-1) won't have much time to recover from Friday's game. They are at Fairfield on Sunday. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity