When Kylie Stannard took over as Yale men’s soccer coach for the 2015 season, he wanted a philosophical foundation for the program.
"For me, being competitive and becoming a winning program, the foundation of that always had to be on more the defensive side of the ball, and then growing from there," Stannard said. "The spine is the most important part of that. You’re always looking for dynamic players that can score goals and create chances, but if you are solid and steady and consistent in the back, that by itself will give you a chance to be competitive."
The Bulldogs’ results from a win-lose-draw perspective have improved every season under Stannard, as has their defensive record, especially in the Ivy League. In the last two seasons, Yale has allowed eight goals in 14 Ivy League matches, leading to a 10-2-2 record in conference play. The defensive improvements have helped Yale vault up the Ivy League table, winning the title in 2019 and finishing second in 2021 after not playing in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.