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Bulldogs Tie Princeton In Season Finale

Bulldogs Tie Princeton In Season Finale

Downs Scores For Yale

The progress the Yale men's soccer team continues to make was on display again in Saturday's season finale. The Bulldogs held the highest scoring team in the Ivy League to one goal to earn a 1-1 draw with Princeton before a big Senior Day crowd at Reese Stadium.

Yale finishes the season with three more Ivy points than a year ago and two more overall wins.

"I'm very proud of our effort and finishing the season like this shows progress for this program," said Kylie Stannard, the 5K Corral Head Coach of the Bulldogs. "This is the type of game where we have lost in the past so I'm extremely pleased by the commitment and fight from our players to dig their heels in and get a result.  This group has worked incredibly hard and we wanted to finish this season and send our seniors out on a positive note so I'm really happy for all of them."

The Bulldogs jumped on the board first when Nicky Downs took a nice pass from Cameron Riach and beat Princeton goalkeeper Jacob Schachner 1v1 at 15:57.

Downs, a sophomore, finishes the year as Yale's leading scorer with 11 points (3 goals, 5 assists).

Princeton tied it less than 10 minutes later when Bryan Prudil tapped home a Sean McSherry cross at 23:49.

Both teams had scoring opportunities the remainder of the way but couldn't capitalize. There were 34 shots in the game and nine corner kicks.

Yale's best chance came when Ryan Matteo got his head on a ball only to see Schachner snare it with one hand later in the first half.

"Princeton played very well tonight and no matter the standings in the league, there is always something to play for and I thought both teams laid it on the line tonight," Stannard said. "To be honest, we were thrown off by three injuries in the first 30 minutes and it changed some things we were trying to do.  We had to make a few adjustments but our guys did a great job of adjusting on the fly and continuing to compete at a high level."

Four Yale seniors made their final appearance at Reese Stadium and all saw action. Goalkeeper Ryan Simpson, who has been unable to play, started and played the first 35 seconds before leaving to a loud ovation from the big crowd.

Henry Flugstad-Clarke played all 110 minutes on defense, while Max Cook and Dylan Onderdonk-Snow were both in the starting lineup as well.

"I'm especially happy for the seniors because these guys have been through a lot and instead of backing away from the challenge they embraced it and wanted to make sure we moved the program in a positive direction," Stannard said. "Their hard work, commitment, sacrifice, and loyalty is deeply appreciated, and they were great leaders and role models for our younger players to learn from so that we can continue to move the program forward in the coming years." 

Report filed by Tim Bennett (timothy.bennett@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity