September 14, 2005

Big Weekend On Tap At Yale Classic

Sept. 14, 2005

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale head coach Brian Tompkins has always strived to bring high-quality opponents to the Yale Classic. In the past, nationally recognized programs such as Creighton, Vanderbilt, Tulsa and Wisconsin-Milwaukee have visited New Haven. This year's tournament, though, may have the most impressive field in its eight-year history.

Michigan State, American and Dartmouth, who all reached the postseason in 2004, join the Bulldogs at the 2005 Yale Classic Presented by Barnes & Noble, which begins Friday night at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium. American and Dartmouth play at 5 p.m. followed by Yale and Michigan State at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, Dartmouth and Michigan State meet at 11 a.m., while the Bulldogs take on American at 1:30 p.m.

"We are delighted to welcome three excellent teams to the Yale Classic," Tompkins said. "All three played in last year's NCAA College Cup, and we should see some outstanding soccer this weekend with the Ivy League pitted against premier programs from the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes regions. I anticipate some exciting and closely contested games."

The young Bulldogs have opened the season with a pair of 1-1 ties, at Fairfield on Sept. 7 and at home against Providence on Sept. 11. Tompkins' squad features an experienced defense, anchored by senior Jon Skalecki, who has started every game he has appeared in at Yale and earned second team All-Ivy honors last fall. Two freshmen, Alex Guzinski and Tyler Guse, have accounted for the Bulldogs' goals, while another newcomer, Gavin Blades, leads the team in shots. Captain Shannon Brooks also is an offensive threat. Sophomore Erik Geiger has started both games in goal for Yale and has a 0.82 goals against average with a .750 save percentage.

Michigan State won its first Big Ten title last year and is 2-1-1 overall in 2005. Ryan McMahen leads the Spartans in scoring with four points (1 goal, 2 assists). He was named a third team Pre-Season All-American by College Soccer News. In 2004, McMahen earned first-team All-Big Ten honors and was named Big Ten Tournament Offensive MVP. Five different players have scored for MSU this fall, and Jason Tillman has played all 380 minutes in goal and has a 0.95 goals against average.

American, which won the Patriot League and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2004, picked up its first win of the season on Sunday by blanking Drexel 5-0. AU is 1-2-1 overall. Garth Juckem leads the Eagles with two goals and two assists. Larry Mark has also scored twice. Chris Sedlak has started all four games in goal and has a 0.95 goals against average.

Dartmouth (0-1-2) is the defending Ivy League champion. The Big Green has allowed just four goals in its first three games, but has scored only once, a P.J. Scheufele tally in a 1-1 with Fairfield. Rowan Anders has played all three games in goal and has made 12 saves.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

Yale Classic History

2004
Winner: Brown
Tournament MVP: Jeff Larentowicz (Brown)
Yale lost to Duquesne 3-1 and Hartwick 2-0
Brown beat Duquesne 2-1 and Hartwick 2-1

2003
Winner: Fairleigh Dickinson
Tournament MVP: Johnny David (FDU)
Yale lost to Creighton 3-1 and Fairleigh Dickinson 1-0
Brown beat Creighton 1-0 and lost to Fairleigh Dickinson 2-1

2002
Tournament Winner: Brown
Tournament MVP: Adom Crew (Brown)
Yale beat Vanderbilt 3-1 and Alabama A&M 3-2
Brown beat Vanderbilt 5-1 and Alabama A&M 3-1
Brown wins by virtue of goal differential

2001
Tournament Winner: Yale
Tournament MVP: Brian Roberts (Yale)
Yale beat Alabama-Birmingham 2-1 and Tulsa 1-0
Brown beat Tulsa 5-0 and Alabama-Birmingham 2-0

2000
Tournament Winner: Brown
Tournament MVP: Matt Cross (Brown)
Yale beat Bradley 2-1 and lost to Southwest Missouri State 2-1
Brown beat Southwest Missouri State 2-1 and tied Bradley 0-0

1999
Tournament Winner: Brown
Tournament MVP: Marcio (Brown)
Yale beat St. Francis 2-0 and St. Bonaventure 2-0
Brown beat St. Bonaventure 5-0 and St. Francis 3-0

1998
Tournament Winner: Brown
Tournament MVP: Geoff Walker (Brown)
Brown beat Wisconsin-Milwaukee 3-1 and Long Island 2-0
Yale beat Long Island 2-0 and lost to Wisconsin-Milwaukee 4-1