October 24, 2007

Bulldogs Battle Hard But Fall To No. 2 UConn 2-1

Oct. 24, 2007

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - For most of Wednesday's game with UConn, the Yale defense did a good job of keeping O'Brian White, the nation's leading goal scorer, in check. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, White doesn't need too many opportunities to affect the outcome of a game. White scored once in the first half and again in the second half to lead the second-ranked Huskies to a 2-1 victory over a pesky Yale squad.

Kevin Pope scored his second goal of the season for the Bulldogs late in the second half.

"I thought we gave a good account of ourselves," said Yale head coach Brian Tompkins. "We knew what we were up against. We tried to defend intelligently, and for the most part we did."

UConn (13-2-1) had an edge in possession time but only outshot the Bulldogs 8-4.

White gave the big crowd of 1,087 at Reese Stadium a demonstration of his ability on the first goal of the game at the 26-minute mark. He controlled a pass, made a few nifty moves to get free and fired a left-footed shot into the lower right corner to give the Huskies the lead.

Yale (2-6-4) had a couple of opportunities to tie. Alex Guzinski's direct kick from 20 yards out was just high shortly after White's first goal. Then, midway through the second half, UConn goalkeeper Josh Ford was caught out of position. Liam Leonard sent a cross to Aden Farina-Henry, but his shot toward a wide open goal was blocked by a UConn defender.

"We moved the ball better in the second half and created some chances," Tompkins said.

White's second goal at 80:26, his 17th of the season, appeared to seal the victory, but Yale refused to quit.

Leonard sent a beautiful cross to a wide-open Pope, who knocked it in from the left corner with 52 seconds remaining to pull the Bulldogs within one. The Huskies, though, maintained possession for the rest of the game to hold on for the victory.

"It was nice that our hard work was rewarded with a goal," Tompkins said.

Erik Geiger stopped four shots in goal for Yale. His best save of the night came when he caught Chukwudi Chijindu's hard shot from the right wing midway through the second half.

The experience a young Yale squad gained by playing the Huskies should only benefit the team in the future, Tompkins said.

"We are a team on the rise," he said.

The Bulldogs return to action on Saturday night when they play at Columbia at 7 p.m.