Bulldogs Earn Quarterfinal Matchup With Penn
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The defending national champions are moving on to the 2019 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Quarterfinals after beating Georgetown 19-16 at Reese Stadium today. Yale, the No. 5 seed, used an NCAA Tournament record 31 face-off wins from TD Ierlan and four-goal games from Matt Gaudet and Matt Brandau to get the first-round victory in front of 1,689 on a sun-splashed day.
The Elis (13-3), who jumped out to a 7-0 lead and then countered an 8-goal performance from Hoyas' attackman Daniel Bucaro, earned a spot in next Sunday's second-round contest against No. 4 seed Penn, which won its first-round game against Army today at Franklin Field.
"We fought through it. We talked about surviving their haymakers, and we did," said Yale Head Coach Andy Shay.
As usual, possessions were crucial in this one. Ierlan, who broke the NCAA single-game record for ground balls with 29 and came within one of the record for total wins, had 23 consecutive wins and allowed the home team to sustain a distance from the Big East Champions. The nation's leading FOGO also set up a teammate for a goal in a contest that tested his ability to battle through a physical contest.
Today was not only Bulldogs vs. Bulldogs, it was a battle of twin brothers. Brandau, who had 5 points in his first collegiate start, faced Chris Brandau, who was getting his second career start in goal for Georgetown (13-5). Matt certainly earned bragging rights in round one of this family matchup.
The fast Eli start was fueled by senior Joseph Sessa (2-2-4) and junior Jackson Morrill (3-2-5), a pair of seasoned NCAA Tournament players who were clicking out of the locker room. Sessa scored in the first minute and then made it 3-0 a few minutes later with a drive to the net and a diving shot through the crease. In the second quarter he made a great fake to shake a defender before setting up captain John Daniggelis for a tally.
"I just go out and try to do my job. We're just trying to get our offense the ball, and we know we're going to get stops when it matters. Every team goes on runs, we've just got to weather the storm," said Ierlan.
The early big lead was not something the Bulldogs expected, and they had to be concerned about getting complacent.
"We knew it wasn't going to be like that the whole game. We knew we were going to get some friction. As seniors, we're on the sideline reminding everyone to stick to our process and reset for the next play," said Sessa, who saw his team up 9-1 in the second quarter.
Yale goalie Jack Starr, who made 8 stops in the fourth quarter, tied a career-high with 16 saves. The sophomore standout came up with key plays in big moments to prevent the visitors from gaining momentum in their comeback effort.
TD Ierlan reached the 1,000-win career milestone on the last face-off of the third quarter… He was spelled in the second half by rookie Joe Neuman, who went 3-for-4 and helped the Blue win 25 consecutive face-offs… The overall NCAA record for face-off wins in a game (32) was set by a Hobart player this spring... Yale is now 10-0 all-time vs. Georgetown… The Elis' nine goals in the first quarter tied the NCAA post-season record set by Virginia on multiple occasions…. Yale and Penn have met twice this season. The Quakers took the regular-season game in triple OT and the Ivy Championship game by one goal in regulation.
Contact: Steve Conn, Yale Athletics Communications – firstname.lastname@example.org