Yale Falls 10-8 to Cornell in Ivy Opener

Yale Falls 10-8 to Cornell in Ivy Opener

Mahony Nets 3 in Loss


NEW HAVEN, Conn.  – The No. 16/17 Yale Men's Lacrosse team fell behind 6-3 in the second quarter and could not recover from the deficit, losing its Ivy opener to No. 9/12 Cornell 10-8 at Reese Stadium this afternoon.


The Bulldogs led 3-2 in the second quarter when the Big Red exploded, scoring four unanswered goals in three minutes. Yale's Colin Still committed an illegal body check and while the penalty was delayed, Cornell went up 4-3 on Steve Mock's first goal. Thirty seconds later David Lau scored an extra-man goal off of a pass in traffic from Chris Langton and a minute after Jack Dudley scored another goal in traffic assisted by Rob Pannell.


"The five-goal second quarter was tough," said Yale head coach Andy Shay.


Cornell took the lead for good with 4:26 left in the second quarter and extended the lead to 10-6 with 14:04 left in the final period. Although Yale shut out the Big Red for the rest of the game, the Bulldogs were only able to score two goals while Cornell ran down the clock on attack.


Junior midfielder Gregory Mahony led Yale with three goals, but the Cornell defense stifled points leader Brian Douglass, who had only one assist. Freshman attackman Brandon Mangan had his second and third goals of the season, while Still, Matt Miller (who also had one assist), and Deron Dempster finished with one goal apiece. Cornell's Mock scored four goals and Pannell finished with two goals and two assists.


Yale (4-1 overall, 0-1 Ivy) won the faceoff battle 14-7 and outshot Cornell (4-2 overall, 1-0 Ivy) 37-33, but picked up fewer ground balls (25-30), had more turnovers (19-16) and spent more time in penalties (3:30-1:30). Big Red goalkeepers AJ Fiore and Andrew West combined for 14 saves. Senior goalkeeper Jonathan Falcone finished with 10 saves for the Elis.


Cornell's offense, and especially Mock, had the most success attacking the goal up close, with attackmen accelerating and reversing on their defenders, thus getting high-percentage shots on Falcone. "We lacked great execution inside," said Yale captain Patrick Coleman. "The Cornell players had many shots from six feet away, but Jonathan still had some great saves."


The Big Red defense, on the other hand, kept Yale from getting close to the goal, and the Bulldogs had to penetrate Cornell's defensive set from a distance. "They're an aggressive defense that makes you play their way. Cornell makes you go deep into possession and makes you dodge when you're not ready," said Mahony.


The Bulldogs took advantage of times when Cornell did not have its defense set, with Mahony scoring an extra-man goal with an assist from Kirby Zdrill early in the second quarter to go up 2-1, and with Mahony's fast-break goal off of a turnover forced by Coleman on Cornell's JJ Gilbane in the third quarter, after which Yale was down 8-6.


Down four goals in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs dialed up their aggressiveness, winning all four face-offs and outshooting Cornell 10-4, but could not find the back of the net after trimming Cornell's lead to two with 5:40 left in the game. "The guys played hard," said Shay, whose team lost 18-7 in a lopsided game at Cornell last year. "This is a bitter pill to swallow."


The loss to Cornell ended Yale's four-game winning streak to start the season for the second straight year and the 10 goals by Cornell was the highest total allowed by the Bulldogs so far in 2011. This is Yale's 12th consecutive loss to Cornell, the only conference opponent coach Shay has never defeated (0-8) in his tenure with the Bulldogs.


Filed by Ivan Dremov