Sept. 16, 2004
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A strong field highlights the 2004 Yale Soccer Classic Presented By Barnes & Noble this weekend. The Bulldogs, who opened the season last week at the Brown Classic, host Duquesne on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. following the Brown-Hartwick game. On Sunday, Yale plays Hartwick at 2:30 p.m., while Brown and Duquesne meet at noon.
"The experience at Brown last weekend was invaluable for us, and we will be looking to hit our stride at home this weekend," said Yale head coach Brian Tompkins. "We will host some very good squads who all have aspirations of making the NCAA tournament. All four teams are capable of winning the Classic so it should make for some terrific college soccer."
Yale suffered a pair of one-goal losses at the Brown Classic. The Bulldogs fell 2-1 in overtime to San Francisco and then dropped a 3-2 decision to Clemson. Yale had two players named to the all-tournament team -- senior Lindsey Williams and sophomore Jake Miller. Williams scored Yale's second goal in the game against Clemson and added an assist against San Francisco. Miller scored the Bulldogs' first goal against Clemson. It was his first career goal.
Brown, the defending Ivy League champions, split two games in its tournament last weekend and has a 1-2 overall record. Chris Gomez, who was named the Defensive MVP of the Brown Classic, has started all three games in goal and has a 1.34 goals against average. Keith Caldwell was named the Ivy League Player of the Week in the league's first round of weekly honors. Caldwell led the Bears to a second place finish at Brown Classic, scoring two goals, the first two of his career, in Brown's 3-0 shutout over San Francisco on Sunday. The Bears also feature one of the top defenders in the Ivy League in senior Jeff Larentowicz, who was a Second Team All-American last year.
Duquesne brings a 2-3 overall record to New Haven. The Dukes outshot their first five opponents 77-24 but scored only four goals. Derek MacKenzie, Steve Mellor, Andrew Bell and Aaron Van Overschelde all have scored once. Zach Varga, the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year last year, started the first four games in goal and had a 0.75 goals against average with a .625 save percentage.The Red and Blue posted a 13-3-3 record in 2003 and earned a share of the Atlantic 10 regular season title. More impressively, Duquesne received national attention for the first time in school history, climbing as high as 17th in the country in the NSCAA poll and finishing the campaign ranked 25th in the nation. Seventh-year head coach Wade Jean will look to his eight returning starters and another stellar recruiting class to make the Dukes a top-25 team again. A handful of Dukes will be counted on heavily this season including MacKenzie, an Atlantic 10 Pre-Season All-Conference pick.
Hartwick is unbeaten in its first four games and has outscored its opponents 7-2. Omar Gordon leads the team with four points (2 goals), while Edwin Ruiz, Justin Brandt, Chris Jackson and Phil Flannery have each scored once. Josh Wagenaar has played all 400 minutes in goal and has an impressive 0.45 goals against average. The Hawks won the 29th Annual City of Oneonta Mayor's Cup Tournament last weekend. Hartwick, which has won 11 of the last 14 Mayor's Cup Tournaments, tied Ohio State in overtime, 1-1. Hartwick and the Buckeyes each finished the two-day, four-team tournament with a 1-0-1 record, but the Hawks were named champions by virtue of goal differential. Hartwick took a 3-0 victory over Fordham University (0-4) in the second game on Friday, while Ohio State opened with a 2-0 triumph over Oneonta State University (2-2).
This is the seventh straight year that Yale has hosted a tournament. Notable teams to appear in the past include Creighton, Vanderbilt, Tulsa, Bradley and Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Brown has won the tournament title four times, while Yale captured the crown in 2001.