No. 2 UConn Edges Yale 2-0

Tony Wilbar. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Tony Wilbar. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Thalman Makes Four Saves For Bulldogs

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The large contingent of Yale soccer fans that came out to Reese Stadium on Tuesday night saw first hand why UConn is ranked second in the nation. They also witnessed a Yale team that more than held its own against the talented Huskies.

In the end, though, a pair of very pretty goals lifted UConn to a 2-0 victory before an enthusiastic crowd of 1,004.

"That's a fabulous team," said Yale head coach Brian Tompkins. "Whenever we play UConn, it's always an opportunity against the very best."

The Bulldogs, who saw their four-game unbeaten streak snapped, had some opportunities to send a scare into the Huskies but couldn't capitalize.

"I thought we were a little bit edgy early in the game, but our confidence grew and we started to assert ourselves as the game went along," Tompkins said. "I'm very pleased with our guys."

Despite the slow start, UConn (8-0-1) didn't get on the board until 36:23 when Carlos Alvarez sent a ball forward to Allando Matheson, who cut inside and fired a hard shot inside the right post from six yards out.

Alvarez also set up the second goal early in the second half. He forced a Yale turnover and sent a quick cross to Mamadou Diouf, who ripped a shot past Yale goalkeeper Bobby Thalman.

Yale's best pressure of the game came in the opening moments of the second half. Freshman Mitch Wagner found himself in good position inside the box, but his shot was blocked.

The Bulldogs (3-4-2) nearly pulled within one with less than 10 minutes remaining when Conner Lachenbruch made a nifty pass to Jenner Fox, who fired a shot from the wing that went off the side of the net.

UConn, which was won four straight games by a combined score of 13-0, outshot Yale 15-6 and had a 7-3 edge in corner kicks.

Thalman made four saves for the Bulldogs.

Tompkins was particularly pleased with the play of Wagner, Tony Wilbar and Peter Ambiel.

"We have more guys starting to step up and that will help us as we start Ivy League play," Tompkins said.

The Bulldogs open league play Saturday at Harvard at 7 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity