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Villanova Takes 11-10 OT Thriller

Shelley Burger image
Shelley Burger image

Late Rally to Force OT Not Enough


NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The national championship season began the same way, an overtime loss to a talented Villanova squad. Last year it happened at Frisco, Texas; today it was Yale's opener before a packed house at Reese Stadium.

Connor Kirst scored at 2:45 of the extra session to give the Wildcats (1-1) an 11-10 win over the Bulldogs, who made an impressive, late offensive surge to send the game into OT.

Trailing 10-7 early in the fourth quarter, veterans Matt Gaudet, Jack Tigh and Joseph Sessa could watch themselves on Yale's beautiful new video board as they rallied their team with goals over the last 10 minutes to send the sun splashed crowd into a frenzy.  

Sessa's tally, on a great lead feed from rookie Matt Brandau, came with 2:43 left to even things at 10-10. The Yale defense then held off a few Wildcat attempts and ran out the clock.

The much-anticipated debut of Yale transfer TD Ierlan was a hit with 18 wins in 25 face-offs. The visitors only got seven of them, but they saved the most important one for OT. Villanova fired two shots wide and a third was blocked before the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Kirst headed to the net with the ball.

Jackson Morrill led the Elis with a pair of goals and five points, while Tigh, captain John Daniggelis and Gaudet each hit the net twice. Jack Starr finished with 10 saves.

"There were some first-time jitters out there from all the classes. We could have done a better job with the details," said Tigh, a senior midfielder. "We will take it as a learning experience. We will look at some film, dissect it and get better."

The Bulldogs go from an opening-day quiz to a mid-term test in game two a week from today at home against No. 4 Penn State, which is 3-0 and has scored 61 goals.



Contact: Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD/Sports Publicity –