Sports

Men’s lacrosse slips in overtime, slides down standings

Turning around an apparent rout, Bruno takes No. 13 Bulldogs to overtime in loss

By
Senior Staff Writer
Monday, April 14, 2014

The men’s lacrosse team suffered a crushing blow Friday, falling to No. 13 Yale 7-6 in overtime. The Bears made a valiant attempt to come back in the second half to push the game into extra time, only to fall further down the conference standings as the Bulldogs’ Michael Bonacci delivered the game-winning goal with just under three minutes remaining in the extra period.

Bruno (6-5, 1-3 Ivy) began the game sluggishly, allowing Yale (7-3, 3-2) to take a commanding early lead. The Bulldogs struck first just a minute into the first quarter, though Tyler Landis ’15 responded for the Bears off an assist from Brendan Caputo ’16 to knot the game at one.

But Yale quickly proved why it is one of the top teams in the nation. Over the next 13 minutes, the Bulldogs scored five goals while shutting out Bruno. Three of the Elis’ goals came when they were a man-up, as the Bears conceded two and a half minutes of penalty time during their scoreless stretch.

Bailey Tills ’16 notched an unassisted goal before the halftime whistle blew, a seemingly insignificant point in a 6-2 first-half blowout.

But the Bears were not prepared to hand the game over to Yale. The third quarter was marked by defensive prowess — Caputo scored the lone goal of the period for either side at the six-minute mark.

The fourth quarter began with Bruno trailing 6-3. Both teams failed to score for the first nine minutes, until Landis scorched a close range shot past Yale goalie Eric Natale for his second goal of the day to pull the Bears within two.

The Bears’ offense continued to push the tempo, searching to even the score. For the next three minutes, the Yale defense stymied a barrage of shots from Bruno — of 21 attempts in the quarter — as the clock dropped below the three-minute mark.

Then the Bears found their rhythm. On an ensuing possession, Landis carried the ball nearly into the crease before being pushed back by a defender. He pirouetted and passed the ball out to Caputo, who promptly shook his defender and fired a left-handed shot over Natale’s right shoulder, cutting Yale’s lead to one with two and half minutes to go.

Yale won the ensuing face-off and raced down the field, culminating in a shot off the post by a Bulldog attackman. The ball flew towards the sideline, where Will Gural ’16 made a diving effort to win possession for the Bears.

As Bruno entered the attacking third, Caputo fired a shot just over the crossbar. But Dylan Molloy ’17 backed up the shot and retained possession for Bruno. The Bears passed the ball around, surveying the defense for a weakness. Caputo penetrated the Bulldog defense once again, forcing defenders to collapse onto him. He spun away from a triple-team and passed the ball to Kylor Bellistri ’16, who eluded a defender and uncorked a right-handed rip past Natale to tie the game with just over a minute remaining in regulation time.

But the Bears celebration would be short-lived. In the overtime period, a Yale attackman brought the ball around the back of the Bears’ net and tossed a pass to Bonacci. The first-year attacker ducked under an attempted check from JJ Ntshaykolo ’17, loaded up and fired a shot past Jack Kelly ’16 to win the game for the Bulldogs.

The Bears have just three games remaining in their schedule before the Ivy League tournament starts at the beginning of May. Bruno will travel to take on its highest-ranked opponent to date, No. 6 Cornell (9-3, 3-1), Saturday afternoon.