Great McCormack Performance Spoiled
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A five-goal lead in the middle of the second quarter wasn't enough for the No. 15 Yale men's lacrosse team to continue its perfect season. Sacred Heart erased a 7-2 deficit with six straight goals and then held off a late Bulldog rally to take a 13-12 game on a cold night at Reese Stadium.
The Pioneers (1-3) won 16 of 28 face-offs and prevented Yale from having the ball enough to mount a comeback until the Bulldogs (2-1) scored four of the last five goals during the fourth quarter. That was too little and just too late for an Eli team that had the edge in shots (42-27) and ground balls (35-30) and committed nine less turnovers.
Stephen Kontos, who took every face-off for the visitors, may have been the game MVP, but his goalie, Ryan Hughes (12 saves) was a close second. Kontos kept the ball for the Pioneers and Hughes swiped numerous quality scoring chances out of the air for a visiting team hungry for its first victory.
Brandon Mangan and Greg Mahony each had three goals, while Matt Miller hit the net twice and had one assist and Conrad Oberbeck chipped in a pair of scores in the second meeting ever between the two Nutmeg State schools.
Mangan got all of his goals in the first 19 minutes of the game as the Blue had spurts of three and four consecutive goals to gain its largest lead with 9:56 left in the first half.
However, when Mike Mawdsley got the first of his game-high five goals at 8:11, the Pioneers reeled off six in a row and 10 of the next 11. Mawdsley finished the six-goal run by one-timing a pass from behind the net with one second left in the second quarter to give SHU an 8-7 intermission lead.
The Bulldogs trailed 12-8 entering the fourth and gave up just one tally over the last 15 minutes. The problem was that Yale could only come up with four more scores. Mahony got the Blue back to striking distance with two of his goals, including the game's final score with 48 seconds left after a fantastic spin move through two defenders.
That set up the game's most significant face-off. Kontos squared off against Cole Yeager (9-19) and the Pioneer midfielder came out of a pile of players running with the ball. A teammate would eventually step out of bounds behind the Yale goal with 10 seconds left.
A long Yale clear was grabbed in the air by Mangan, who turned and sent the ball toward the front of the SHU goal where it was picked off.
"They should be proud of how hard they played for sure. They deserve the win," said Yale head coach Andy Shay. "They played with a lot of intensity and had the ball most of the game. They made our possessions short and we didn't handle it very well. We have to work on that."
Another thing the Pioneers took away was a goal streak by senior attackman Matt Gibson, who had scored in 11 straight games but left the field tonight with just two assists.
The loss spoiled a great day for Yale defenseman Michael McCormack, who had eight ground balls and caused four of SHU's 20 turnovers.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director