Sept. 20, 2007
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale men's soccer team hopes to build on a solid performance at Fairfield last Saturday when it travels to the Dartmouth Invitational this weekend. The Bulldogs play St. Francis (Pa.) on Friday at 4 p.m. and take on UW-Milwaukee on Sunday at noon. Live stats for both games will be available at dartmouthsports.com.
Yale (0-3) played its best game of the season against the Stags but dropped a hard-fought 1-0 decision. The Bulldogs controlled play for much of the game but were unable to capitalize on their opportunities.
"We played with more confidence and poise than the previous weekend and were able to create a number of good goal scoring chances," said Yale head coach Brian Tompkins.
Goals have been hard to come by for the Bulldogs in the first three games. Liam Leonard scored on a penalty kick in the season opener against No. 10 Northwestern, but Yale has been unable to hit the back of the net since.
St. Francis (Pa.) also has had trouble scoring recently. The Red Flash (1-4) have been shutout in each of their last two matches. Their one victory was a 1-0 decision over Denver. Four different players have scored for St. Francis, which has been outscored 10-4 in five games.
UW-Milwaukee (0-6) is participating in its third in-season tournament in four weeks. The Panthers record is deceiving as three of their losses have come against teams ranked in the latest NSCAA top-25 poll - No. 14 UC Santa Barbara, No. 20 Gonzaga and No. 23 Tulsa. Zeke Dombrowski leads the team in scoring with four points.
"Our goal on Friday will be to put together a complete performance and be effective on both ends of the field," Tompkins said. "Being sharper in front of goal will be a must if we are to have a shot at winning the tournament."
Sunday's game with UW-Milwaukee will have special meaning for Tompkins, who spent seven years as the head coach of the Panthers. He compiled an overall record of 90-41-11, including six winning seasons, and led the Panthers to an NCAA Tournament appearance (1990), a Mid-Continent Conference title (1993) and a Big Central Soccer Conference crown (1990). His teams were ranked in the top 25 in four of his last six years. Last May, Tompkins was inducted into the UWM Athletic Hall of Fame, and he has a close relationship with Panthers coach Jon Coleman, a 1996 UWM graduate.
"I obviously have a long-standing relationship with UWM after spending several enjoyable years there," Tompkins said. "I actually recruited Jon Coleman out of high school. He is a terrific young coach and an even better person. He and I talk periodically, and I still follow the team's results with great interest."
Tompkins will be seeking his first victory against his old school. The Panthers topped the Bulldogs in both 1998 and 2000.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity