March 22, 2013

Tigers Edge Bulldogs 10-9

Four Players Score Two Goals Each

PRINCETON, N.J. - The No. 18/18 Yale Bulldogs fought hard, but ultimately fell to the No. 10/11 Princeton Tigers 10-9 on Friday night at Sherrerd Field in Princeton, N.J. It was a one-goal game until the Tigers were able to open up to gain a three-goal lead, 10-7, with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Elis fought hard to come back, with two goals by sophomore Harry Kucharczyk and one by Conrad Oberbeck to make it 10-9 with five minutes left.

Kucharczyk, Oberbeck, junior Brandon Mangan and senior Kirby Zdrill all found the net twice, with junior Dylan Levings scoring his first goal of the season as well. Zdrill scored a beautiful goal in the third quarter that would have made the difference, but it was called off due to a questionable crease violation.

The game was tight: the Bulldogs were barely outshot 38-37 and had 31 to Princeton's 32 ground balls. Both teams had 11 turnovers. Princeton capitalized on face-offs, winning 13 for 23.

Both teams were coming off incredibly close losses in their Ivy League openers. Yale lost 12-10 to Cornell last week, while Princeton fell to Penn 11-10. Neither team wanted to give up a second loss in the Ivy League. The Tigers knew they could not let Levings dominate as he did last weekend against Cornell, winning 22 of 25 at the X, so they used their wings effectively to help win the face-offs.

Yale scored first when freshman Michael Bonacci ran down the left wing, saw Zdrill posting on the crease, and passed it off for a quick goal. The Tigers responded by scoring two goals within one minute with 45 seconds left in the first quarter to take the lead 2-1. 25 seconds later, Zdrill scored again by capitalizing on a Princeton turnover in front of the net, while the goalie was out of position, bringing it to 2-2 at the end of the first quarter. Going into halftime, the game was tied 4-4.

Directly after Zdrill's goal was called off in the third, Princeton got the first two-goal lead of the game with 4.7 seconds left in the quarter, to bring it to 8-6. Less than a minute into the fourth quarter, the Elis responded when Kucharczyk scored his first goal of the season off a beautiful ground ball and run down the field by freshman Michael Quinn.

The Bulldogs played tough on defense, as well. They held the Tigers on three of their four extra man opportunities and senior Peter Johnson held Princeton attackman Tom Schreiber to one goal. Before today, Schreiber averaged five points a game. Sophomore Eric Natale had five saves on the day.

The Bulldogs are now 0-2 in the Ivy League, 3-3 overall. At this point last season, they were also 0-2 in the league and went on to win the Ivy League Tournament. They face Penn next weekend in Philadelphia, Pa., at 1 p.m.

Report by Lilli Janney '13, Yale Sports Publicity

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