No. 18 Yale Holds Off St. John's
from press release
JAMAICA QUEENS, N.Y. – It's never easy opening your season on the road against a team that has a regular season game – and a win - under its belt. The No. 18 Yale men's lacrosse team overcame those obstacles by jumping out to a fast start before hanging on for a 10-8 victory over St. John's this afternoon at DaSilva Memorial Field.
The Bulldogs, who have won all six meetings with the Red Storm, enjoyed a pair of six-goal leads while outshooting the Storm 40-28 and having a slight edge in ground balls (22-18) and face-offs (11-10).
Senior attackman Brian Douglass led the Blue with three goals. Junior midfielder Colin Still chipped in two while classmate Matt Gibson, an attackman, had a goal and an assist. Spreading the ball around for Yale meant getting goals from seven different players.
Senior Johnathan Falcone needed eight saves to record the win in net. He and the Elis got help from Cole Yeager's first game as the primary face-off guy. The sophomore midfielder won seven of 13 draws, while freshman Dylan Levings earned wins on four of eight attempts.
"We had a ton of respect for St. John's coming in, and were even more impressed with how they responded when down 9-3 with 11 minutes left," said Yale head coach Andy Shay. "They are a tough, well-coached team, and we were lucky to get out of there with a win."
The Red Storm, coming off an opening day win over Holy Cross last Saturday, had goals from five different players and 15 saves from Jeff Lowman, who needed six of them in the opening quarter to keep his squad within reach.
Five different Bulldogs hit the net in the first quarter as the visitors outshot the Red Storm 19-4 and took a 5-1 after 15 minutes. It wasn't all about hitting the net; winning all but one face-off and successfully clearing every attempt enabled the Elis to get off to the fast start.
St. John's managed to hold the ball early in the second and got the first four shots of the frame. That didn't help them score and the Elis still had the shot advantage, 9-5. Still and Douglass notched their second goals of the game to send the Bulldogs into the intermission up 7-1.
A sloppy frame followed the break with both teams getting seven shots off. Kieran Mcardle (2 goals) found the net twice early in the third to cut the margin to four before Michael Lipin, the only Eli to get a shot past Lowman in the third quarter, made it 8-3 after 45 minutes.
The Red Storm, with a 12-5 advantage in shots, made their best move to close the gap in the final frame. After Douglass scored for the third time, the home team ran off five straight to put a legitimate scare into the nationally ranked visitors.
Kevin Cernuto's second tally of the day with 3:16 left cut the lead to 9-8 and gave St. John's reason to believe in a potential upset. However, the Bulldogs ended the scoring string by causing a turnover after a double team in the corner of the Yale end. Phil Gross scooped up the ground ball and his teammates tried to run time off the clock while running around with it.
Mark Dobrosky's first goal of 2011 could not have come at a better time, with 1:13 left to give Yale a two-goal cushion. Ryan McCarthy ended up with the ball and found the junior midfielder near the crease. Dobrosky got a good look before hitting the net.
"It's huge to get a win in the first game. It's never as clean as you want it to be, but it comes down to the plays between the lines," said Yale captain Patrick Coleman, a long-stick midfielder who led the Elis with six ground balls. "They had a huge advantage with a game played. "We came out and played hard and were hoping everything else would fall into place."
Shay liked what he saw from his team leader today. "Pat Coleman was excellent today. It was the best game he has played in his four years."
The Elis open their 2011 home schedule Thursday night at Reese Stadium with Presbyterian at 7:00.
BULLDOG BITES: Brandon Mangan became the first Yale newcomer to record a point in 2011 when he assisted on Brian Douglass's fourth-quarter tally… The Blue has now won three straight season openers… The Elis were successful on 20 of 22 clears… Junior M Michael Pratt had four GBs for the Blue... Senior M Jack Flaherty scored his first collegiate goal.
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