Fall 2010 Newsletter
Captain Nick Finger
President Sam Power
YALE 0 - Middlebury 10
YALE 60 - St. Bonaventure 0[More Images]
Yale suffered its first and only loss this fall at the hands of Middlebury College on Sunday in the semifinal round of the Northeast tournament held in Amherst, Mass. The loss, which ended Yale's ten game unbeaten streak, effectively cut short the Bulldogs' playoff hopes and run at the Division II national title.
The match against Middlebury had been scheduled for Saturday, but due to snowy conditions at the Umass/Amherst fields all the DII matches were postponed until Sunday, meaning that all teams would be playing two games each running 60 minutes long. Yale and Middlebury stood neck to neck during much of the first half of this abbreviated match. Both teams had opportunities to score - Middlebury's coming first and Yale's later in the half - but the defense of both teams forced crucial penalties to recover the ball each time the opposition threatened. The half ended in a 0-0 gridlock.
Yale continued their intensity into the second half but Middlebury kept up the pressure by challenging the Elis in rucks, scrums and lineouts. Those areas of Yale's game, so dominant in weeks past, simply were not as crisp as they needed to be in the shortened match format. Yale was not able to retain the ball long enough in the second half to mount a sustained attack, and Middlebury's defense continued to play well. Middlebury's first score came off a quick tap on Yale's 5-meter line, and their second score came as their fullback fielded a short kick and caught Yale's defense out of position as he ran it all theway back for a try.
The loss was especially disheartening for Yale because the Bulldogs had already beaten Middlebury in the New England semifinals in late October. The U.S. Coast Guard Academy, who would beat Middlebury later Sunday afternoon to advance to the national tournament, was beaten by Yale twice this fall for their only two losses of the season.
In the consolation game, Yale steamrolled St. Bonaventure in a sixty- point shutout to finish 3rd in the Northeast. Yale's lineup consisted of a combination of veteran and young faces -- some playing alternate positions, but many of whom contributed to the scoring rout, including an unnamed lock who took the ball 40 meters from the side of a ruck for a try.
With league play now finished, Yale must focus all their energies on a tough Harvard opponent who they will face next weekend in Cambridge, Mass. Both the A and B matches will take place on Saturday morning; the B side will play first at 10:00 AM, followed by the A side at 11:20.