Nov. 8, 2003
New Haven, CT - The 11th ranked Brown men's soccer team will be making its 20th NCAA Tournament appearance in two weeks after clinching at least a share of the 2003 Ivy League Title with a 1-1 tie at Yale on Saturday afternoon.
The Bears can gain sole possession of the title with a win against Dartmouth next Saturday but Brown is already a lock for the NCAA Tournament since Yale lost to third place Cornell earlier in the season. Brown, who has now won seven of the last ten Ivy Championships, remains undefeated in conference play with a 5-0-1 mark. The Bears advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight the last time they appeared in the tournament back in 2000.
Brown got on the board first just 9:29 into the contest when junior Jeff Larentowicz (West Chester, PA) passed up field to senior Adom Crew (Columbia, MD), who beat his man inside the box to go head to head with Yale goalkeeper Matt Aleksinas. Crew proved why he is the Ivy League scoring leader by powering a shot into the back of the net to give the Bears an early lead. The goal was his ninth of the season and moved him into Brown TMs all-time top ten list in goals with 24 for his career.
Yale struck back to tie the game at 1-1, 14 minutes later on a penalty kick. A handball foul was called when the ball deflected up off the hands of Larentowicz inside the box on a corner kick. Senior Jay Alberts beat goalie Chris Gomez on the play, snapping Brown's string of league shutouts. The Bears had not given up a goal in league play in their last three games.
Less than two minutes later, the Bears were dealt a huge blow when freshman Andrew Daniels (Milwaukee, WI) received a red card, forcing Brown to play a man down. The Bulldogs tried to take advantage over the next 20 minutes left in the half but the Bears defense, lead by Larentowicz, senior Edward Thurston (Washington, DC) and freshman Matt Britner (Halifax, Nova Scotia), held strong to keep them off the board.
The same held through the entire second half as Brown managed to keep the Bulldogs scoreless, sending the game into overtime. Yale had several opportunities but Gomez kept his composure and continued his dominance in the net, totaling seven saves. Overall, Yale got off 15 shots compared to Brown's two.
"You're not going to find a more courageous performance out of a team," said Brown Head Coach Mike Noonan after the game. "I'm very proud of this team."
Brown has two games left to be played before finishing up the regular season. The Bears will host Boston College on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and close out the season at home versus Dartmouth next Saturday at 3 p.m. The NCAA Tournament is set to begin on Friday, Nov. 21.
Scoring: B, Crew (Larentowicz) 9:29; Y, Alberts (23:33)
Shots: B-2; Y-15
Saves: B-Gomez-7; Y-Aleksinas-2