Simon Club Soccer Has Strong Showing at 2016 Yale Cup

The following blog post was written by Sebastian Nsanzugwanko, 2017 MBA candidate

The Simon Soccer Club participated at the 37th Annual Yale Cup, a business school soccer tournament with 16 teams from around the country. We brought together a strong team of alumni and current students, many of whom had experience playing D3 soccer.

Simon's Soccer Club advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2016 Yale Cup.

Simon’s Soccer Club advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2016 Yale Cup.

The first game took place against one of Yale’s teams. Although they had some aggressive tacklers, our team dominated play led by Andrew Holliday ’15 MBA, who nearly scored directly from the corner twice. Much of the game was spent in the opponent’s half, and great buildup play led to goals from Rinat Gusev ’17 MBA, Wyatt Buerkle ’17 MS, and myself. Our solid defensive partnership of Sean Leaks ’14 MBA and Matt Peckham ’14 MBA allowed Simon keeper Hunter Burson ’16 MBA to only touch the ball once the entire game. The game finished 5-0.

The next game against Tuck was much more challenging, but Simon scored early on a deep cross from Charlie Thornton ’13 MBA. Evan Munderville ’11 MS ran onto the cross, dribbled towards goal, and finished with a smart chip over the goalie. Throughout the game, there were several more chances to score, particularly due to quick pace of Weizhi Wang ’17 MS. We were punished for our profligacy when Tuck scored on a mistake between Simon defenders and the keeper in the final five minutes. The game ended 1-1.

Heading into the final game, the group points were: Duke 4, Simon 4, Harvard 5. In order to advance, we either needed to win against NYU, or needed Duke to lose. Our game against NYU finished 0-0, as both teams were tired and had trouble keeping possession and creating chances. However, Duke lost to Tuck, which meant Harvard and Simon advanced to the next round.

The quarterfinal stage took place Sunday morning, and injuries began taking a toll. Simon lost three key players in Andrew Holliday, Evan Munderville, and Rinat Gusev. Without them, we toiled in possession and Columbia took advantage by quickly scoring two goals. Unable to capitalize on few chances, Simon eventually lost the game 2-0.

Overall, the Simon team performed very well. Without injuries, Simon easily could have competed in the final, in which Columbia lost to Babson.

Nevertheless, the tournament showed us that our team has great potential and inspired us for future success. For the Tuck tournament in the spring, we plan to be more fit and involve more players—some of whom were away at the National Black Conference and others who had midterms. With this type of team, we look forward to entering the 2017 MBA World Cup at Tuck as a title contender. Stay tuned to the Admissions Blog for future Simon Soccer Club updates!

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