March 12, 2011

No. 18 Elis Stay Unbeaten with 10-6 Win

Gibson Gets 3 Against Lehigh

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A second-half offensive explosion propelled the No. 18 Yale men's lacrosse team to a 10-6 victory over Lehigh at Reese Stadium this afternoon as the Bulldogs remained unbeaten after four games.

The Bulldogs, who open Ivy play next Saturday at home against Cornell, broke open a 3-2 intermission with three straight goals and seven of the next eight tallies before allowing the solid Yale defense to close the deal against the Mountain Hawks (3-3).

"We talked about keeping our energy up. We knew that the shots would fall," said Yale head coach Andy Shay about his halftime talk to the team. "We thought they had the ball 75 percent of the time in the first half.  We tried to possess the ball longer on offense, after winning all those faceoffs."

That defense was led by captain Patrick Coleman, whose game-high seven caused turnovers and five ground balls made him a great choice for game most valuable player.

Junior Matt Gibson, who missed the last two games, came back with a three-goal, four-point performance. "I started out the game a little hesitant, but felt good throughout," said Gibson, a 2011 Tewaarton Award Watch List selection.

Fellow attackman Brian Douglass also hit the net three times while the others came from Deron Dempster (2), Matt Miller and Cole Yeager. Gregory Mahony contributed a pair of assists.

Both squads fired 28 shots and Lehigh had the edge (29-28) in ground balls. The most important statistical difference was Yale's dominance on faceoffs. Yeager, who took all but three on the X, won 10 of 16 as the Elis took 12 of 19 overall. Dylan Levings was successful on two of his three faceoffs.

Johnathan Falcone had another outstanding performance in net for Yale with 13 saves. The senior made four of those in big moments during the fourth quarter as the Elis held off a late Lehigh rally.

Cameron Lao-Gosney led Lehigh with two goals while Dan Carr made seven stops between the pipes.

The Blue jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Douglass and Dempster, the only goals of the first quarter. Dempster's goal came after a great feed from Coleman in transition. The sophomore dove with a defender on him and shot low from 10 feet out with 1:49 left.

The Mountain Hawks bounced back with two straight off the sticks of David DiMaria and Alex Drake. DiMaria got the visitors on the board with a nice move around the net before wrapping his shot around and inside the far post on Falcone with 6:12 left in the second.

Gibson made a great move to grab the lead back for the Elis. The junior attackman deked a defenseman and went in alone on Carr. He faked high and tucked it low at 1:48. "That was my test. In practice I haven't done anything like that. That was my test to see how my back worked out," said the inspirational Bulldog.

The Mountain Hawks were hanging in at 6-3 late in the third when the home team put it into another gear. Douglass ran out from behind the net and twisted back around to the goal before launching a lazor with 1:43 left. On the ensuing faceoff, Yeager ran over his opponent, grabbed the ball and headed for the goal. He waited until he got to within 20 feet and fired a bouncer past Carr five seconds after the Douglass goal to make it 8-3. That was enough to propel the Blue the rest of the way.

Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director