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Seniors Sent Off With Big Win

Jack Flaherty. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Jack Flaherty. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

No. 14 Elis Beat Brown 10-6

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – There was a lot for the No. 14 Yale men's lacrosse team to celebrate after erasing a pair of first-half three-goal deficits on the way to a 10-6 win over Brown before 1,376 at Reese Stadium on a windy and cold afternoon.

The Bulldogs (8-2, 3-2 Ivy) also celebrated a third straight win in the seniors' last home game, a leg up in the race for one of the four conference post-season playoff spots and the strong finish to a game that has been lacking the last few weeks.

Matt Gibson had two goals and two assists while Brian Douglass hit the net twice to lead a Yale offense that had the edge in shots (34-30) after turning things around over the last 30 minutes. Colin Still and Brandon Mangan had a goal and assist each with other Yale tallies coming from Gregory Mahony, Michael Lipin, Andrew Cordia and Jack Flaherty, one of the 11 seniors playing their final game at Reese.

Another Bulldog playing his last game in New Haven, Johnathan Falcone, saved one of his best outings for one of the biggest games. The senior netminder made three huge second-half stops and had six overall to help the Elis finish 6-1 at home in 2011.

Yale got another fine showing from sophomore face-off specialist Cole Yeager, who won 13 of 18 battles on the X and had seven ground balls. That helped keep the ball away from the Bears, but Brown shots were also limited by the great play of the Yale defense led by captain Patrick Coleman and Michael McCormack, who had a game-high five caused turnovers to go along with four ground balls.

"We came out with a lot of energy in the second half," said McCormack, moments before he and his teammates were called into the Reese Stadium meeting room to sing Bulldog. "We wanted to do it for the seniors. We finally finished a game in the second half."

Brown (4-7, 1-3) scored the game's first three goals and was leading 4-1 midway through the second before taking a two-goal lead into the intermission.

"I was very worried and was thinking this might be a very long day," said Yale head coach Andy Shay. "This is a tough group and they fought through it. Our defense put us in a position to win the game."

The Elis got things going enough to even the score at 4-4 when Cordia converted a pass from Still with 10:35 left in the third. Andrew Feinberg, who led the visitors with two goals, found the net 80 seconds later to give the Bears their final lead.

Mahony, Lipin and Gibson followed with Yale goals to make it 7-5 and provide just enough distance for Yale to grab all the momentum.

Gibson, a junior attackman, had the most spectacular move and shot of the day. He ran with the ball from behind the goal with a defender all over him. Gibson jumped and twisted before sending a shot into the upper right corner of the net to open the fourth quarter scoring at 12:02.

"I knew I could take him [defender]. I was able to get my hands free enough to get the shot off," said Gibson. "We really buckled down and made good decisions with the ball in the second half."

The Bulldogs, who gave up four goals over the last two minutes of last week's win over Dartmouth, were not going to let that happen again today. After a Brown goal that cut the lead to one, Still's spinning move and shot through the legs of Matt Chriss (12 saves) at 5:38 made it 8-6. It was the first of three straight home tallies to finish off the Bears.

Flaherty picked up a ground ball and fired it home at 4:15 before Gibson ran in from the sideline and beat Chriss high with 1:58 left.

"There was a lack of energy early on and we were looking for a big play to spark a fire," said Falcone. "Flaherty really played well today and got us going."

The Elis take their three-game win streak to Washington, D.C., next Saturday for a 1 p.m. game with Georgetown that airs live on TV stations SNY and MASN.


Report filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director