Yale Clinches Ivy Tourney Spot
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Deron Dempster has had big games for the Bulldogs this year, scoring five in a crucial win over Penn and four the next contest against Providence College. He only got a pair tonight, but his second and final tally was the biggest of his career and the most significant score to date of the Elis' 2012 season. Dempster hit the net with 2:17 left in the fourth overtime to give Yale an 11-10 win over Brown and give the Blue a spot in the Ivy League Tournament.
The Bulldogs, who have won four straight, improved to 6-4 overall and 3-2 in league play with one Ivy game remaining against Harvard in the season finale.
Dempster came out of the box and backed his way in on a defender. All of a sudden, he stepped back and then fired the shot that ended the game.
"I drew a short-stick. I'm not sure how it happened, but the play developed and I ended up with a short-stick on me," said Dempster, who has 13 goals in the last four games. "I just came out of the box and I got the ball from [Greg] Mahony. I had known, just from watching, they weren't sliding a lot of short-sticks, and I just never got a slide. I just threw it at the net."
The junior attackman doesn't know where the ball went, but he does know what happened after the shot. "It all happened so fast, and I was just mauled by everyone. I don't really know, I just took the shot."
Dempster won the game, but Matt Gibson, who led all scorers with five goals, may have been the most valuable Bulldog. He scooped up six ground balls and caused a pair of turnovers. Gibson has a dozen goals over the last three games and deserves serious consideration for Ivy Player of the Year honors with 22 goals and 35 points.
Conrad Oberbeck had two for the Elis. His second, with 4:16 left in regulation, was the only tally of the fourth quarter and tied the game at 10-10. The craziness of the last five periods could have made everyone in attendance forget that Yale's great start produced leads of 6-2 and 7-3 in the second quarter. Prosperity didn't sit well with the Elis tonight.
Brown actually had a pair of one-goal leads in the second half
Yale had a 47-34 advantage in shots, and the difference came from the extra sessions. The Elis outshot the Bears 19-5 in overtime and turned goalie Will Round (7 of his 17 saves in OT) into a Brown highlight show.
The first three OTs were wild, end-to-end action with huge defensive plays, great saves, pipe shots, turnovers (11) and high emotion for the guys wearing in the white as well as the visitors in the blue uniforms.
"We didn't feel like we were doing a great job off the ground, but we hung in there and we battled and we won face-offs down the stretch," said Yale head coach Andy Shay, who will be coaching his squad in the Ivy Tournament for the third straight season. "We got a lot of good shots in the overtimes and the guys kept fighting."
Possessions are important at all times of a lacrosse game, it's critical to have the ball under sudden-death conditions. Sophomore Dylan Levings allowed the Blue to have the ball the most during the extra sessions by grabbing each face-off. Levings, who took all 28 battles on the X and won 18, beat Tommy Capone to start the fourth OT. The Bears never got to touch the ball again.
Yale sophomore goalie Jack Meyer needed only eight saves over the eight frames, but half of them were heart-stopping blocks of Brown attempts in overtime. "I was a little nervous, but I'm pretty confident in our guys. Our defense did a great job all game, bailing me out, so did the offense. I was pretty confident that if we stopped them and got the ball down on offense that we were going to score eventually," said Meyer.
Adding to the list of big performances from the visitors was midfielder Michael Pratt (in photo). The senior captain had six ground balls and made enough big plays to be considered a thorn in the side of the Bears. His leadership and experience were key factors.
The experience of the longest game in school history (5-OT Princeton game) a few weeks earlier at New Haven also helped Yale.
"We had been here before," said defenseman Peter Johnson. "We were a little bit more comfortable, and if anything, it made us want this win a lot more because we know the feeling of losing that deep into a game. We were used to getting kill off of kill, defensively. We were just ready to keep killing them as long as it takes."
The Blue takes a break from league action on Monday night to face Stony Brook on the road before coming home a week from tonight to host Bryant at Reese Stadium.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
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