NEW HAVEN, Conn – It was a memorable home opener for the Yale men’s soccer team. Ryan Matteo scored twice and Miguel Yuste added a goal on a penalty kick as the Bulldogs knocked off perennial national power UConn before a big crowd at Reese Stadium.
“I’m short for words tonight because words can’t describe what this win means for our program,” said Kylie Stannard, The 5K Corral Head Coach of the Bulldogs. “I’m beyond proud of our players and coaches for this comprehensive performance. This is a statement win for Yale men’s soccer that has been a long time coming and well earned. Our current players and alums deserve to enjoy this one.”
All three goals came in a six-minute stretch of the first half. Matteo started it when he fired a shot inside the near post from the top of the box at 29:27. Sigfus Arnason set up the goal with a nifty cross after a UConn giveaway.
Just 2 minutes, 10 seconds later, Thomas Toney was pulled down in the box. Yuste took the penalty kick and calmly drilled it inside the near post.
At 35:19, the Bulldogs got the all-important third goal, and it was Matteo again who scored it. This one came from 25 yards out on a shot that deflected off a UConn defender and in.
Yale (1-0-2) played well with the lead, limiting the high-powered UConn offense to very few quality scoring chances.
Goalkeeper Elian Haddock was strong when necessary, making three saves and aggressively intercepting a number of crosses to post the shutout.
“I’m most impressed with the total team effort and commitment,” Stannard said. “We started well the last couple of games and did again tonight but were able to get the first goal which is big. The team defending was also phenomenal, and it was great to get a shutout.”
The win was Yale’s first over UConn since 2003 and the first over the Huskies at Reese since 1992.
UConn (2-2) came into the night unbeaten in its last 17 games against in-state opponents.
The Bulldogs (1-0-2) remained unbeaten on the season. All three of their games have come against teams that played in the NCAA Tournament last fall.
Yale is back in action on Sunday, playing at Niagara. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.
“We’ll enjoy the feeling of this tonight but our focus turns 100 percent to Niagara tomorrow,” Stannard said.