PRINCETON, N.J. -- With the calendar turning to October, League play in Ivy men’s soccer began on Saturday. In a preview of what the 2011 League title race may have in store, three of the four games were decided by one goal each, including a win in the final minutes by Cornell and an overtime victory by Columbia.
Last season, the Quakers scored a 89th-minute goal at Cornell to come away with a 1-0 win, but this year the Big Red got revenge as Cornell, which was the lone road team to record an Ivy win on Saturday, used a Daniel Haber strike at 88:33 to earn a late victory. Combined with a midweek 1-1 tie at St. Bonaventure, the Big Red is now unbeaten in its last eight games (5-0-3).
Columbia also won its Ivy opener in dramatic fashion when Will Stamatis scored his third overtime game-winning goal of the season at 101:14 to send the Lions to a 2-1 win over Brown. Columbia had taken a 1-0 lead early in the first half on Henning Sauerbier’s first of the year. Brown’s Sean Rosa equalized at 57:04 to eventually force overtime. With the win, Columbia snapped a winless streak against Brown that had dated back to 1992.
Yale played host to Harvard and recorded a 1-0 win. Chris Dennen scored at 13:17 and the Bulldogs, behind eight Bobby Thalman saves, made the goal stand up. It was Yale's first victory over Harvard since 2005.
Princeton travelled to Dartmouth and the Big Green jumped out to a 3-0 lead just 15:39 into the game and went on to down the Tigers, 4-1. Lucky Mkosana had two goals for Dartmouth, while Colin Heffron and Kevin Dzierzawski each added a goal and an assist.
In mid-week, non-conference action the Ivies sustained a few close losses to ranked opponents. The Bulldogs travelled to Storrs, Conn. on Tuesday afternoon to take on top-ranked Connecticut. Yale took the Huskies to the brink of a hard-fought tie before the nation’s number one team scored with 1:01 left in the second overtime for a 1-0 win. Princeton suffered a similar defeat when 15th-ranked St. John’s downed the Tigers, 3-2, in double overtime. The game-winning goal came with just four seconds to play in the game.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Yale junior goalkeeper Bobby Thalman (Greenwood Village, Colo.) turned in a pair of superb performances in the Bulldog net last week. In non-conference action, Thalman nearly held top-ranked Connecticut scoreless for 110 minutes. The Huskies broke a 0-0 tie with one minute left in the second overtime period to escape with a victory at home. He made seven saves in the game, including four in overtime as UConn applied the pressure.
As good as Thalman was in the loss at Connecticut, he may have been even better in shutting out Harvard in both teams’ Ivy opener on Saturday. He made eight saves, including three diving stops. His best save against the Crimson came less than three minutes after Yale had taken the lead. Harvard’s Zack Wolfenzon fired a hard shot that appeared labeled for the corner, but Thalman dove to his left and got just enough of it to deflect it wide. Thalman also came up big a couple of times in the second half, including another diving stop to rob Connor McCarthy with less than 15 minutes remaining. In all, Harvard peppered Thalman with 11 shots in the second half.
Thalman’s Weekly Stats
2-2 GP-GS, 199:08 Mins., 1 GA, 0.45 GAA, 15 Saves, 1 SHO, 1-1-0
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Freshman forward Cameron Porter (Centerville, Ohio) erased a two-goal deficit against No. 15 St. John’s on Wednesday, scoring a pair of goals in the second half. He scored his first in the 64th minute when he redirected a shot by classmate Myles McGinley in the box. Porter got his second of the game in the 76th minute when he put away a perfect ball from inside the box. His goals eventually forced overtime, where St. John’s scored the game winner with just four seconds to play in the second overtime. Porter’s two goals give him three on the season to lead the Tigers.
Porter’s Weekly Stats
2-2 GP-GS, 2G, 4 Pts., 3 Shots, 2 SOG
Colin Heffron, Dartmouth (Fr., M - Upper Brookville, N.Y.)
1-1 GP-GS, 1G, 1A, 3 Pts., 1 Shot, 1 SOG
Lucky Mkosana, Dartmouth (Sr., F - Bulawayo, Zimbabwe)
1-1 GP-GS, 2G, 4 Pts., 3 Shots, 3 SOG
Rick Pflasterer, Cornell (Jr., GK - Ann Arbor, Mich.)
2-2 200:00 Mins., 1 GA, 0.450 GAA, 4 SVS, 1 SHO, 1-0-1
Sean Rosa, Brown (Sr., F - Montreal, Quebec)
1-1 GP-GS, 1G, 2 Pts., 4 Shots, 1 SOG
Will Stamatis, Columbia (Jr., F - Mountainside, N.J.)
2-2 GP-GS, 1G, 2 Pts., 5 Shots, 3 SOG, 1 GWG
Zack Wolfenon, Harvard (Jr., F - San Diego, Calif.)
2-2 GP-GS, 1G, 2 Pts., 4 Shots, 3 SOG
Dartmouth, Penn, Princeton and Brown play non-conference games on Tuesday night before Saturday’s second set of Ivy League matches.
Yale and Dartmouth clash in New Haven, Conn., in Saturday’s first game with the right to move to 2-0-0 on the line should either team come away with a win. Dating back to last season, the Big Green has won four consecutive Ivy games.
Cornell welcomes Harvard for its Ivy home opener. The Big Red will be looking for a second Ivy win in as many weeks and to improve upon an eight-game unbeaten streak (5-0-3). Harvard hits the road in search of its first Ivy win of the year.
Columbia plays host to Penn, which is looking to rebound after a late goal saw the Quakers lose to Cornell in its Ivy opener. After an overtime win against Brown, the Lions will be trying to build upon its Ivy opening win and to improve upon a five game unbeaten streak in Ivy play dating back to last season (3-0-2).
Finally, Brown hosts Princeton. Both squads will be looking to get a first Ivy win of the season after suffering defeats in week one of play. It will be Brown’s Ivy home opener, while Princeton is on the road for a second consecutive League game.
Tuesday, October 4
Vermont at Dartmouth, 7 pm
Penn at Penn St., 7 pm
Princeton at Seton Hall, 7 pm
Brown at St. John’s, 7 pm
Saturday, October 8
*Dartmouth at Yale, 3 pm
*Harvard at Cornell, 4 pm
*Penn at Columbia, 4 pm
*Princeton at Brown, 7 pm
* - denotes Ivy League contest