Yale Cup: SOM Alumni Win
They may not have been the youngest team on the field, but they finished on top. Beating a team from the MIT Sloan School of Management in the final match, a group of Yale SOM alumni won the 2007 Yale Cup soccer tournament, held the weekend of September 29-30.
The Yale Cup is a highlight of the year at Yale SOM. This year’s tournament drew more than 300 players from business schools and other graduate programs, including Yale Medical School, Columbia Business School, Harvard’s Kennedy School, Harvard Business School, the Wharton School, and NYU Stern. The event provided an opportunity for healthy athletic competition, networking, and pure entertainment. The tournament is yearly organized by the Yale SOM United Soccer Club, and was this year supported by Major League Soccer.
The Yale SOM alumni team marched undefeated through five games over the course of the two-day tournament, but the team’s journey to the Yale Cup started much further back. According to Jan Carlsen ’98, he and a group of other Yale SOM graduates first discussed forming a team to take the cup nearly a decade ago. “I’m not sure if we really thought we would eventually win the cup when we started those efforts back in ’99, but yesterday’s win is testimony to the close SOM network and the ‘get things done’ spirit of the school,” Carlsen wrote in an email.
The team won one match and tied one in the group play on Saturday, advancing to face the Simon Graduate School of Business in the quarterfinal round Sunday morning. According to Carlsen, the SOM alumni outplayed the team from Simon, and Matt LeBlanc ’98 secured the victory with a goal in the second half. In the semifinals, the team squared off against the Tepper School of Business. After fighting to a 1-1 tie, the SOM team won on penalty kicks. Across the fields, the MIT Sloan squad came back from a late deficit to beat Harvard Business School, setting up a Yale SOM Alumni versus MIT match-up for the cup.
The final game was a rematch of the two teams’ first round of group play, which had ended in a tie. In the second go-round, Carlsen said the SOM team played its best match of the tournament, though the two teams again locked horns and finished play in a tie. The tournament would be decided on penalty kicks. MIT’s first shooter missed, while all five SOM players put the ball in the back of the net. The victory went to the Yale SOM alumni.
“This year’s win was truly a team effort, where everybody contributed well above and beyond expectations,” wrote Carlsen. “I am really proud that we finally captured the trophy and I hope everybody involved feels the same way.”
The team of current Yale SOM students didn’t fare as well as their predecessors at the school. They played in a tough group, which included Tepper, HBS, and UNC, and lost two out of three matches in the first round, ending their participation in the tournament on Saturday.