No. 19 Bulldogs Beat Princeton
PRINCETON, N.J. – Brandon Mangan knew he shouldn't shoot the ball. His team had just gotten its first possession in overtime and had come out of a timeout. The freshman attackman was off-angle, had a defender checking him and was 25 feet from the cage. Instead of passing to a more experience teammate, Mangan unleashed nasty shot that found the net 33 seconds into OT to give Yale a come-from-behind, 8-7 men's lacrosse win over Princeton at Class of 1952 Stadium.
"It feels great that my teammates have the confidence to give me the ball in a situation like that," said Mangan, the Wantagh, N.Y., native who had two goals. "I never should have shot the ball, but it's better to be lucky than good. I had no angle, but it hit off the goalie's elbow and went in."
The No. 19 Bulldogs (5-1, 1-1 Ivy) earned their first league win by erasing a 6-2 deficit on the way to Yale's first win over the Tigers (1-5, 0-2) since 2005. It snapped Princeton's six-game win streak in the storied series.
Senior Johnathan Falcone proved he belongs ranked among the top division I goalies in goals against and save percentage. The Bulldog veteran made 11 saves spread out evenly over regulation and prevented the Tigers from running away with the game after a series of damaging Yale turnovers.
In fact a Yale turnover in the second minute turned into the game's first tally off the stick of Tom Schreiber. Fortunately for the Blue, Gregory Mahony evened the score with a great spin move after taking a heavy check and firing a high shot high on Tyler Fiorito (7 saves).
The Blue went up 2-1 when Brian Douglass walked in untouched from behind the cage and protected his stick before flicking it over the goalie's shoulder. That was Yale's last lead until the game-winner.
Eight turnovers in the first half helped the home team go on a four-goal run to take a comfortable lead into the intermission. Two of those tallies came from Chris McBride, while the Tigers seemed to possess the ball for the entire second frame. That kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard for 33 straight minutes.
When things looked down for the visitors, Yale rose up and made a third-quarter run with three goals in 5:43.
Matt Gibson got his fifth of the year when he one-timed a pretty Mark Dobrosky feed from behind the net. Gibson jumped and caught the pass and flicked it low before he hit the ground to cut the margin to 6-3 with just under five left in the third.
Mangan then cut the lead to two. He took three steps after receiving a pass and fired a low laser late in the third to make it a two-goal deficit.
The Bulldogs have one of the top Man-Up units in the country and it worked well to bring the Blue to within one. Matt Miller's long shot from up top hit the pipe and went in to make it 6-5 with 70 seconds left in the third. He looked to pass, which gave him some space, and then unleashed a rocket.
Deron Dempster also had two goals for the Elis. He took a pretty feed from Mahony and deposited it behind Fiorito to even the score midway through the fourth and the score was even at 6-6.
The Tigers grabbed the lead back four minutes later when Forest Sonnenfeldt got his second of the day to end a four-goal streak by the Bulldogs.
Things got a little crazy from there. Yale was called off-side with three minutes left but got the ball back by creating a turnover. Shortly after, Dempster converted a great pass from Matt Gibson with 1:02 left to tie the game again.
Cole Yeager, who won 11 of 18 faceoffs today, won the biggest battle on the X to that point, but the Elis turned it over and were forced to rely on Falcone making a huge save on Sonnenfeldt's shot with 10 seconds left. The ball got to Michael Pratt who raced up field and sent a shot wide of the net with one tick left.
Princeton won the faceoff in the extra session but quickly turned it over.
"It wasn't a pretty win. We didn't play well in the first half. We really didn't play well until late in the third," said Yale head coach Andy Shay. "I'm just glad to get a win and now we can concentrate on Penn. We just try to think one game at a time."
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director