Sporting Life

Fall sports highlights: 2015

A standout runner, and another disappointment at The Game.

Evan Frondorf ’14 is a research fellow at the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

Sam Rubin

Sam Rubin

Kevin Dooney ’16 was Yale’s first All American in men’s cross country since 2004. View full image


Temporary lighting permitted football after dark at the Yale Bowl for the the 132nd playing of The Game on November 21, giving the event a prime-time feel. But the infusion of energy couldn’t save the Bulldogs from a 38–19 loss to Harvard.
That’s not to say the Bulldogs failed to rise to the occasion: quarterback Morgan Roberts ’16 logged a career-high 410 passing yards and 38 completions, while wide receiver Christopher Williams-Lopez ’18 added his own career-best total of 169 yards. And the Blue did not commit a single turnover. But they failed to capitalize on the few scoring opportunities allowed by the Crimson, who simply outmatched the Bulldogs en route to a share of a third consecutive Ivy title. “We had some chances in the second half to put points on the board, and we didn’t,” said Yale head coach Tony Reno after the game.

Yale began the game with a touchdown on the opening drive, priming the crowd of 52,000 for an exciting afternoon of scoring. But by the time darkness fell on the Bowl in the fourth quarter, Harvard had scored 31 consecutive points.

And the outcome was never really in doubt. The injury-plagued Bulldogs fell to 6–4 on the season and 3–4 in conference play—good for fourth in the Ivy League, but disappointing after three straight wins to start the season. More discouraging is Harvard’s recent dominance: this was the Crimson’s ninth straight win, the longest streak in the history of the series. And with each passing year, the strategy for overcoming the powerhouse built by Harvard coach Tim Murphy seems ever more elusive.

Cross Country

Kevin Dooney ’16 has missed the last three editions of The Game, but with good reason. Each year, he’s spent his pre-Thanksgiving Saturday at the NCAA Cross Country National Championship. “It is unfortunate that I’ve missed out on one of the quintessential Yale experiences,” he says. “But I’d rather be competing myself than watching other people do it.”

At Nationals in Louisville, he placed 61st out of 242 runners in the ten-kilometer race, capping a significant career and a highly successful season for Yale. The team finished third at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships—the Bulldogs’ best performance since 2003—and took seventh place at the NCAA Northeast Regionals.
Dooney, Yale’s first cross country All American since 2004, plans to return to his native Ireland to run for his country, literally following in the footsteps of his brother, Conor Dooney ’12. “Because I want to keep running after college, the most practical option for me is to go home,” he says, citing visa issues. “But it’s hard to feel that, out of necessity, you have to up and leave.”

The women’s team also made tremendous progress this fall, finishing second at Heps—Yale’s best finish since 2002. But perhaps the greater prize is the optimism the Bulldogs can take into next season. All of the team’s top eight finishers at Heps will return next year.

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