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Fantastic Finish; Dennen’s Late Goal Sinks Cornell

Milan Tica. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Milan Tica. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Scores Game-Winner With 13 Seconds Left

NEW HAVEN, Conn.  - After losing its first two Ivy League games in overtime, the thought of going to extra time with Cornell on Saturday certainly wouldn't have been comforting to the Yale men's soccer team. With the score tied at 3-3 and less than 30 seconds left, it sure looked like that would be the scenario the Bulldogs would face. Chris Dennen had other ideas. His goal with 13 seconds remaining lifted Yale to a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Big Red on a cold night at Reese Stadium.

The winning goal came off a free kick. Milan Tica sent a ball into the box that came to Scott Armbrust. His shot hit the post, but the rebound came to Dennen and he was able to get off a shot that just trickled over the goal line and set off a wild celebration on the Yale bench.

"Milan hit a great ball with good outswing," Dennen said. "It was chaos in the box. I had to jump a little bit and I think the ball went about a yard over the line."

It was a fitting end to a wild night of soccer. The Bulldogs (4-5-3, 1-2 Ivy) led 2-0 at halftime but watched Cornell score three goals in a 15-minute stretch of the second half. Yale tied it when Andy Shorten scored at 86:09.

"Our guys did a good job of riding the emotional rollercoaster," said Yale head coach Brian Tompkins. "I thought we played good soccer throughout the game. It was nice to finally have our persistence rewarded."

Early on, it looked like the Bulldogs might cruise to an easy win. Brad Rose tapped in a Jon Carlos cross at 15:16 to get Yale on the board. Andy Hackbarth then made it 2-0 at 35:27 when he blasted a free kick from 30 yards out off the crossbar and in.

"That was a highlight reel type of goal," Tompkins said. "Andy is a terrific ball striker. Our first two goals were really well executed."

Cornell (5-4-3, 0-1-2 Ivy) then took over. Matt Bouraee scored from the right wing at 57:16. Less than five minutes later, Matt Devitt headed in a Scott Caldwell free kick, and Chase Aaronson gave the Big Red the lead at 71:41.

Yale used another well-executed free kick to tie it, and it was Tica who took it. He sent a ball into the right side of the box where Shorten was able to head it past Cornell goalkeeper Rick Pflasterer.

The Bulldogs finished with a 14-11 edge in shots and a 5-2 advantage in corner kicks.

Travis Chulick earned the victory in goal for Yale.

The Bulldogs host Connecticut in their final non-league game of the season on Tuesday. Kickoff at Reese Stadium is slated for 7 p.m.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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Video by David Dikranian