April 10, 2010

No. 19 Elis Win Third Straight

Defense Blanks Green Until 3rd Quarter

HANOVER, N.H. -- The Yale men’s lacrosse team is back on another win streak and it is in contention for a spot in the inaugural Ivy League post-season tournament. The No. 19 Bulldogs, trying to grab one of the four spots in the May event, just improved their chances by shutting down Dartmouth’s offense in an 8-3 win at Scully-Fahey Field.

The Bulldogs, who have now won three straight and are 7-2 overall (2-2 in Ivy play), could move up to fourth place in the strong Ivy League by the end of the day. Yale has two league games left.

Matt Gibson scored five of Yale’s eight goals on just eight shots, but the Eli defense deserved much of the credit for grabbing their first win at Hanover since 2002. The Bulldog defense not only held talented New Haven native Ari Sussman to one goal, a week after he hit the net four times in an upset of Cornell, Yale kept Dartmouth (3-5, 1-2) off the scoreboard for the first 37 minutes while jumping out to a 6-0 lead.

Freshmen Peter Johnson and Michael McCormack combined to shadow the Green’s top scorer, while junior goalie Johnathan Falcone had 15 saves.

“Our defense played really well.  The plan was a good one.  Coach [Ryan] Polley did a great job getting the guys ready, and they executed the plan well,” said Yale head coach Andy Shay. “It was a total team effort, but Peter Johnson and Mike McCormack did a great job individually on Ari Sussman. That was a key down the stretch.”  

Brian Douglass, the Yale junior attackman ranked among the nation’s leading scorers, kept his offensive touch with a pair of goals and now has a team-high 26. The Elis also got a goal from Gregory Mahony and three assists from Brendan Gibson. Matt Miller, Colin Still and Nick Tsouris also added assists.

Brendan Gibson found Matt Gibson cutting from behind the net before the younger brother bounced a shot past Fergus Campbell (9 saves) at 8:20 of the first for the game’s opening tally.

 

The brothers combined for the next one as well, but this time Matt dodged while coming from behind the net and sending a high shot past Campbell.

 

“This was a big team effort today, and I was just part of the offensive effort. I got in the right spots at the right time thanks to my teammates,” said Matt Gibson, who now has 21 goals and 37 points.

 

A week ago, in Yale’s last Ivy contest, the Blue jumped out to a 10-0 lead before holding on for the win. Today it was over when Dartmouth finally hit the net late in the third quarter.

 

However, Falcone, who improved his season goals-against-average to 8.84, needed to be spectacular in the fourth as the home team poured on (15) the shots. He responded with eight saves, frustrating Dartmouth shooters on a few occasions.

“Our coaches did great job scouting him [Sussman],” said Johnson. “We kept sliding to him on double teams and were able to get the ball away from him a lot. Our defense did a great job communicating on the slides.”

“Dartmouth’s defense did a great job doubling and pressing us in the second half.  We didn’t handle the pressure as well as we would have liked, but Johnathan Falcone came up huge when we needed him,” said Shay, whose squad will face Providence College on Tuesday night.

Campbell, who shared league player of the week honors with Douglass after beating the Big Red, needed five of his saves in the first half to prevent things from getting out of hand.

Max Rodman, Yale’s senior face-off man, had another solid outing with seven wins in 15 attempts.

Yale had a 13-7 edge in shots after 30 minutes but finished with just one more, 31-30. The Elis, who achieved those extra opportunities by forcing 15 Dartmouth turnovers in the first half, had the overall advantage in ground balls (24-21).  

“It felt good to get a lead and keep it,” said Matt Gibson. “The offense capitalized on its chances, but the defense deserves a lot of credit for the win.”

 

Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director