Fall 2010 Newsletter
Captain Nick Finger
President Sam Power
YALE 27 - Middlebury 19
This past Saturday Yale hosted Middlebury College for their first and final home match of the spring season. Not only was the game an opportunity for Yale to avenge their loss to Middlebury in the Division II Northeast playoffs in 2004, but it was also to serve as the send off to all Yale’s seniors. Playing their last game in front of their home crowd the class of 2006 did not disappoint, pulling off a come-from-behind 27-19 victory.
From the start of the match Yale showed hunger that would result in an opportunity for early points. After receiving the kickoff Yale was able to drive Middlebury deep into their own territory inducing a penalty that senior winger Bobby Cardone ’06 slotted to give Yale a 3 – 0 lead.
Middlebury would respond with a score of their own. Managing to push Yale deep into their own end, Middlebury was able to apply enough pressure to get in position close to Yale’s goal line. Taking advantage of a breakdown in Yale’s defense, Middlebury managed to burrow over for their opening score of the game. The missed conversion meant Middlebury held a 5 – 3 lead.
Middlebury’s score invigorated the Yale club. Again managing to apply pressure deep in Middlebury’s end, eventual man of the match Sean Walbridge ’08 scored off a well structured and executed backline move. The try being scored right under the posts meant Cardone slotted the conversion to again give Yale the lead.
Yale kept up their pressure which gave them several more opportunities to score. Unfortunately poor finishing and ball handling meant two tries went a begging on the try line as Yale knocked the ball on twice. Yale was eventually able to put a score in the corner through center Jack Mahoney ’07 – his first of three tries on the day. Cardone’s conversion meant Yale held a 17 – 5 lead going into the half.
With the beginning of the second half came a short burst of intense rain. With the rain Yale’s play became sloppy and error prone. Attempting to run the ball out from their own zone, Yale knocked the ball on and straight into the hands of Middlebury. Taking advantage of their windfall, Middlebury ran the ball in for the score, closing the score to 17 – 12.
Gathering momentum Middlebury was able to score almost immediately from the restart. Getting a lucky bounce from a clearing kick that befuddled Yale’s defense, Middlebury again ran the ball back for a score. Again converting the try, Middlebury took the 19-17 lead.
Sensing their loss of momentum Yale needed a spark to ignite their offense. That spark again came from center Jack Mahoney ’07, intercepting a pass and running it back for the score, giving Yale the lead for good.
As the half wore on Yale began to assert their dominance but again succumbed to poor finishing and execution. Having several opportunities to put further points on the board, Yale managed to squander every one. All the hard work proved fruitless until the final quarter of the game when Mahoney again scored under the posts. Cardone made the conversion making the final score 29 – 17.
Despite the victory, Yale knew they could have done better. Too many opportunities went unconverted and the resurgence of Middlebury at the beginning of the second half were both cause for concern. Finishing and composure will have to be remedied in the week ahead if Yale is to have any success this coming weekend at Ivies. That Yale was able to pull out the victory over the reigning Division II New England champions is a testament to this years seniors and how far the program has come in their four years on the club. We wish them all the best in the years ahead.
The b-side match proved just as successful and exciting. In a see-saw battle, neither side managed to gain the upper hand, exchanging scores right up to the final whistle. Yale’s depth in talent once again proved itself as the b-side again came away with the victory. Strong play from flyhalf Evan Edwards ’09 and fullback Ryan Salinas ’09 was particularly encouraging.
This coming weekend Yale will be hosting the Ivy League championships. All alumni and friends are strongly encouraged to attend on either Saturday or Sunday. All your support is always appreciated, and will go a long way to ensuring success.