Sept. 7, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - In 18 games last year, Yale only scored three or more goals on three occasions. The Bulldogs are well on their way to surpassing that mark in 2006. Yale tallied three goals in each of its first two games, wins over Marist and Boston College, and hopes to continue that trend in the E*Trade Financial 2006 Yale Soccer Classic Presented by Barnes & Noble starting Friday at Reese Stadium.
"We have been opportunistic and have executed well in front of the goal," said Yale head coach Brian Tompkins. "We have speed and mobility and the attacking mentality has been good. However, there is still much room for improvement in our game, and we will look to play with a greater degree of consistency in the Classic."
Gage Hills leads the Bulldogs in scoring with three goals. Fellow seniors Alex Munns, James Stewart, Jordan Rieger and James Stewart have also scored. Defensively, Jake Miller, Markus Jackson and Max Rhodes have helped anchor a unit that has been steady in the first two games.
This is the ninth straight year that the Bulldogs have hosted the Yale Classic, and Tompkins believes it is important to the program's success.
"Hosting a tournament enables us to test ourselves against quality teams from other regions of the country," he said. "The experience is invaluable for the players and also provides us with the schedule strength that is so important for consideration in the NCAA College Cup selection process."
The 2006 Classic features a quality field. On Friday, Dartmouth plays Colgate at 5 p.m. before the Bulldogs take on George Mason at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, George Mason and Dartmouth meet at noon followed by Yale and Colgate at 2:30 p.m. Admission to all four games at Reese Stadium is free.
George Mason brings a 1-2 overall record to New Haven. The Patriots beat Monmouth 1-0 in their opener but lost to third-ranked Virginia 2-0 and La Salle 2-0. Richard Edgar scored the game-winning goal in overtime against Monmouth. Sean Kelley has started all three games in goal and has a 1.29 goals against average. GMU is coached by Greg Andrulis, who was named the 2004 Major League Soccer Coach of the Year with the Columbus Crew.
Colgate (2-0-1) is unbeaten in its first three games and has not allowed a goal. Devin Deane leads the team in scoring with two goals. Eric Anton has three points (1 goal, 1 assist). Dan Belke was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week, while Doug Litvack earned Goalkeeper of the Week honors. The Raiders are ranked sixth in the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Dartmouth, which shared the 2005 Ivy League title with Yale and Brown, is 1-0-1. The Big Green opened the season with a 2-0 victory over Binghamton and then played a scoreless tie with New Hampshire. Daniel Keat and Mike Ordonez both scored in the win over Binghamton. Goalkeeper Anders Rowan has not allowed a goal in either of the first two games.
"Greg Andrulis is one of this country's outstanding coaches and has had success in college and Major League Soccer. I anticipate that GMU will be well-prepared and ready for the challenges of the weekend," Tompkins said. "Colgate is an up-and-coming program with a terrific young coach who will be looking to make its mark in its region and beyond this year. Both coaches are in the second year with their teams and now that their methods and philosophies are taking root, I think they will be formidable opponents for Yale and our tournament partners Dartmouth. It promises to be an excellent weekend of exciting college soccer."
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity