Faced with unyielding rain, a morass of mud, and an au tumn chill
in the air, the HBS Soccer Team faced some of the best business schools in the country at the annual Yale Cup on October 12-13th in New Haven. The tournament included teams from Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, Tuck, Kellogg, Yale, Fuqua, University of Michigan, Sloan, Stern, Smith (University of Maryland), Kogod (American University), and Simon (University of Rochester).
Primed to avenge their exit last year (robbed of the Champion’s cup in 2001), this year’s team featured an impressive roster of seasoned 2nd years familiar with the rigors of the tournament. In addition, several 1st year notables (TJ Carella (NA), Ben Chatraw (NH), Rodrigo Diehl (NJ), Surya Mendonca (NF), and Josh Yguado (NF)) made critical contributions to the success of the team.
HBS breezed through its bracket on Saturday, defeating Columbia 2-0, Wharton 6-1, and Kogod 3-0, cheered on by very loyal fans (including Vero Vazquez (OE), Olivier Velter (OG), and Mony Cabrera (OB) plus significant others and families), who braved the horrible weather to lend their support.
Highlights of the match against Columbia included an impressive goal off a free kick outside the box by Jorge O’Hara (OI) and a fantastic header by Surya Mendonca off a corner kick. The spanking of Wharton included a Maradona-esque goal by Martin Lange (OI) that involved short passes to fellow HBSers in the midfield, the juking of several defenders and culminating in a wonderfully curved left-footed shot that left the keeper dumbfounded in the mud. Jorge O’Hara scored two goals using his creative dribbling talents, faking out defenders, the sweeper, and for good measure, the keeper. Surya Menonca notched two goals as well, and G Bakir (OG) snuck one past the keeper to round out the scoring. Against Kogod, Gaby Podskubka (OE) netted two impressive goals with finesse and flair. The other goal in this game was a long-range missile from Ben Chatraw.
In the quarterfinal match on Sunday morning, the HBS team looked strong, scoring within the first 10 minutes of the match and dominating the Yale Alumni team. Stringing creative passes together and making quick transitions, HBS quickly ran the score up to 3-0 by the end of the first half. TJ Carella confidently notched two of his tournament-high four goals in the start of single-elimination play, and Wael Sawan (OI) notched the third goal to seal the game. Despite running through the mud for four games, demanding fitness trainings led by Jorge O’Hara throughout the fall and the depth of talent on the team kept Crimson looking fresh even as the final whistle blew.
The semifinal pitted HBS against Smith (University of Maryland). While the HBS team clearly was technically superior, had better team cohesion, and created many dangerous scoring opportunities, Smith went up 1-0.
Gaby Podskubka was picture-perfect in attacking the goal with precision and passion to tie the game. Gaston Mauvezin (OK) as the goalkeeper had been a rock for the entire tournament, and made some excellent saves against a tough Smith striker. However, an unfortunate goal by Smith put them ahead 2-1. Unphased, the HBS team calmly continued its offensive, generating a number of breathtakingly close opportunities. Unfortunately, time ran out on HBS and the final score was a loss of 3-1 to Smith in the semis. Smith went on to win the tournament, beating Tuck in the final 3-1.
HBS exited the tournament with a 4-1 record and 15 goals scored. While the final result was disappointing, the weekend was an important culmination of the fall season, strengthening the bonds of the team on and off the field. HBS will have its chance for revenge at the Austin tournament in February!
Roster for the tournament:
2nd years: G Bakir (OG), John Gilmartin (OC), Claudio Knizek (OB), Nathan Kring (OE), Martin Lange (OI), Rolo Leyton (OA), Gaston Mauvezin (OK), Morgan McKenney (OC), Jorge O’Hara (OI), Gaby Podskubka (OE), Joao Rodrigues (OF), Sylvain Santamarta (OI), Wael Sawan (OI), R.J. Sheedy (OH), Alex Young (OB).
1st years: TJ Carella (NA), Ben Chatraw (NH), Rodrigo Diehl (NJ), Surya Mendonca (NF), Josh Yguado (NF).
The Yale Cup event was sponsored by Tenaris
Boston League Update:
(league of local graduate school programs)
HBS A Team: 4-0-0
HBS B Team: 1-1-1
This weekend in the Boston League, HBS A team faces off against KSG at home, and HBS B team takes on Brandeis.