Sports

Second half kills men’s lacrosse, lifts No. 14 Yale

By
Assistant Sports Editor
Monday, April 18, 2011

The men’s lacrosse team jumped out to a 3-0 first-quarter lead over Yale, but the Bulldogs outscored Bruno (4-7, 1-3 Ivy) by six goals in a one-sided second half to notch a 10-6 victory Saturday in New Haven, Conn. The win propelled Yale (8-2, 3-2) to a tie for second place in the Ivy League, while Brown dropped to a tie for fifth.

“In the second half, some unforced errors continued and we didn’t step up and make the big plays,” said Head Coach Lars Tiffany ’90. “Yale was making plays and finding ways to put the ball in the net, finding a way to pick up the tough ground balls.”  

Brown came out strong and looked poised to build off last week’s win over No. 17 Penn (6-4, 3-2). Attacker Parker Brown ’12 scored the game’s first goal less than a minute after faceoff. The Bears tacked onto their lead later in the quarter with goals from attacker Andrew Feinberg ’11 and defenseman Peter Fallon ’11, two of the team’s three tri-captains. Feinberg, the team’s leading scorer, returned to the field for the first time since March 29 after missing the team’s past three games with a concussion.  

“It was great having Andrew back against Yale,” Tiffany said. “He made an impact right away and scored two goals. Andrew knows it wasn’t his best lacrosse game, but none of us hold it against him … He was just cleared to play on Wednesday, so there’s going to be some rust.”  

Yale cut the deficit to 3-1 on a goal from Brian Douglass early in the second, but Brown quickly answered back with a score from David Hawley ’11. The teams continued to trade punches, as Douglass scored his second of the game before halftime, again cutting Bruno’s lead to two goals.  

Only 16 seconds into the third quarter, the Bulldogs found the back of the net to cut the lead to one. Four minutes later, they evened the score on a goal from Andrew Cordia.  

Feinberg notched his second tally of the day just over a minute later, but the 5-4 advantage would be the Bears’ final lead of the game. Yale scored twice more in the third to take its first lead of the game and headed into the final quarter with momentum on its side.  

In the fourth, after a Matt Gibson goal extended Yale’s lead to 7-5, Brown pulled back within a score on a Rob Schlesinger ’12 finish with just under seven minutes left in regulation.

But Yale then pulled away. The Elis scored three unanswered goals, and Brown could not come through on the other end. At the final whistle, Yale came away with a 10-6 win in its final home game of the season.

“That’s what’s been lacking with us — how to win the end of the game,” Tiffany said. “And unfortunately, that was exposed again on Saturday.”  

Yet again, a bright spot for the Bears was the play of goalie Matt Chris ’11, who made 12 saves on the day. Going into the contest, the senior ranked sixth nationally in both save percentage (.607) and saves per game (12.2).

“Matt made four saves in the first half and was keeping Yale frustrated,” Tiffany said. “Second half, Matt actually made eight saves. And as Yale was cranking up the heat on us and playing at a much faster pace and was playing better lacrosse than us, Matt made eight saves and a lot of them were really tough saves. He kept that game close.”  

The loss is a setback in the Bears’  pursuit of a spot in the Ivy League playoffs. The conference’s top four squads advance to the tournament, which is hosted by the first-place school. Brown will return home Saturday to take on No. 5 Cornell (9-2, 4-0), which holds sole possession of first place and looks primed to lock up one of the four spots. Yale and Penn are now tied for second, and Brown sits only one game behind fourth-place Princeton (4-6, 2-2) with Cornell and Dartmouth (4-7, 1-3) left on the Ivy schedule.

“If we have any shot of continuing the season further than April 30, then (the Cornell game) is a must-win,” Tiffany said. “We’re the injured, wounded animal with its back into a corner — that’s us. If we want to define this season any different than the way it (has) progressed to this point, it’s now or never, and we’ve got to come out of that corner.”

But before the Cornell showdown, the Bears must focus on crosstown rival Providence College (3-8, 0-3 Big East), a “much-improved” program according to Tiffany. Faceoff is set for Tuesday night at PC’s Friar Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex.