March 11, 2012

Lehigh Takes Battle of Ranked Teams

5-Goal Run Gets Lehigh 11-7 Win at Home

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The No. 16 Yale men's lacrosse team ran into one of the nation's hottest teams in its first road game of the year, falling to No. 15 Lehigh 11-7 this afternoon at the Ulrich Sports Complex.

The Moutain Hawks (6-1), winners of six straight, used one of the nation's top defenses to hold the Bulldogs (2-2) to their lowest goal total of the young season. Lehigh also used a five-goal run that began late in the third quarter to put a close game away.

Freshman Shane Thornton's first collegiate goal tied the game at 1-1 early, but the Bulldogs didn't have the ball enough in the first to avoid a 4-1 deficit in the second quarter.

That's when another Eli rookie, Conrad Oberbeck, went on a run of his own to bring his squad back. The attackman from Greenwich, Conn., hit the net up a man and then two more times even-strength to knot the score at 4-4 with 8:03 left in the half. His teammates did a great job of finding him, but Lehigh made sure they found the Yale newcomer the rest of the way and held him to just those three tallies.

The Mountain Hawks, with three goals each from David DiMaria and Adam Johnston on the day, got the next two before captain Michael Pratt hit the first of his two on the day to send the Blue into intermission down 6-5.

Oberbeck and Pratt played key roles in the turn of events by the visitors, but there was much more to it. Yale, playing its first ranked opponent of 2012, got back in the game in the first half because it had the ball more. After losing three straight face-offs, head coach Andy Shay sent Dylan Levings in and the sophomore won six straight on the X.

Levings went on to win 14 of 19 and help keep the Blue within striking distance. He finished with a team-best nine ground balls and his team had four more than Lehigh for the game.

Also important in the Yale effort today, sophomore longstick midfielder Jimmy Craft won some important groundballs (3) and caused a turnover that led to Oberbeck's second goal.

The Bulldogs, who also got a late goal from Greg Mahony, were outshot 35-26 and used a goalie making his first collegiate start.  Sophomore Jack Meyer made 10 saves over the first 57 minutes before freshman Eric Natale, who had all the previous starts, came in to finish the game.

Yale is back on the road next Saturday to face Cornell in a 1 p.m. game before returning to Reese Stadium on March 24 to host Princeton.

 

Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director