Matt Gibson's 5 Points Lead to 14-11 Win Over Brown
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The No. 16 Yale men's lacrosse team saved one of its best overall efforts of the year for its most important game to date, a 14-11 win over No. 19 Brown today that put the Bulldogs in the driver's seat for a spot in the Ivy League Tournament. The final score in the Bulldogs' fifth straight victory was not indicative of the way the game played out.
The Elis, now 9-2 overall and 3-2 Ivy, thoroughly outplayed the Bears until the large lead diminished with an insignificant Brown flurry. The rout was on when Yale, which was moving the ball so well and confusing the Brown defense, got off the bus and tallied six straight times.
Eight different Yale players hit the net including Matt Gibson, who led the team with three tallies and five points, and Matt Miller(3 goals). Matt Fuchs (3 points) and Gregory Mahony had two each, while Brian Douglass, Max Rodman and Michael Pratt also found the net.
“I'm proud of how hard the guys came out today,”
said Yale Head Coach Andy Shay. We got a lead early, and it
helped our confidence. Brown is a great team, and they are
deadly in transition, so we knew we would have to score goals to
Brown may have had the advantage in shots (44-33) and ground balls (36-24), but the Elis turned Brown over often, including five times in the opening 15 minutes, and converted those defensive plays into goals.
Johnathan Falcone had another big day in goal for the Blue with 14 saves. He made five stops in the third quarter and had three in each of the other frames.
“We had a great defensive plan from coach [Ryan] Polley, and we were able to execute it,” said Falcone. “We are definitely gaining confidence.”
The Bulldogs are clearly gaining confidence in their junior netminder.
“Falcone played great. He continues to improve every
week, and we know we can count on him in big situations,”
The home team, looking for something to ignite its league-best offense, didn't score until the 17th minute of the game to make it 6-1. Mahony doused the hope 29 seconds later with a high shot
That's when Rodman had the “tough guy” play of the game. Rodman, who won 16 of 28 face-offs and enabled the visitors to put this one away early, ran over Charlie Kenney to win the face-off, fought off a few slashes and fired a shot past Matt Chriss (9 saves) for his first collegiate goal.
Rodman is one of seven Yale seniors who were looking for their first win over the Bears.
“They threw a couple of face-off guys at me, but I was able to have a good day,” said Rodman. “Coach Shay told us before the game that every guy has a job to do for us to win. Everyone did their job well today.”
Kenney, who was 2-for-9 against Rodman, got frustrated and took penalties that led to goals at the start of the game and the second half. Both infractions began runs that Brown couldn't answer.
Parker Brown led the Bears (5-5, 2-2) with three goals. Andrew Feinberg scored twice and had two assists for a Brown team that tallied six of the last seven goals to make the score interesting in the fourth quarter.
The Elis, who opened the Ivy season with losses to Cornell and Princeton, have reeled off three straight league wins and sit alone in third place behind the Big Red (3-1) and Tigers (4-0). Yale is home a week from today when Bryant comes to Reese Stadium for a 7 p.m. game, the Blue's last non-league contest of 2010.
Report filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director