With just around 30 seconds left in the game and the men’s lacrosse team playing a man down after a penalty, attackman Pat Moylan ’03 scooped up the ball after the faceoff at midfield, streaked up the right sideline, and tied up the game with a quick goal that sent the Eli sidelines into cheers.
But seconds later, it was the Dartmouth team enjoying the final celebration, as Scott Roslyn’s goal with four seconds remaining on the clock gave the Big Green the lead and the comeback victory.
After trailing 5-1 in the beginning of the third quarter, Dartmouth rebounded for the 9-8 upset victory in the Bulldogs’ final home game of the season.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Roslyn, who scored four goals on the day. “They played a great game and it’s tough coming back from being down 5-1. We knew we had to just chip away at their lead, and in the end there we just found a way to get it done.”
The loss was a devastating one for the Bulldogs, whose undisciplined offensive effort for much of the second half allowed the Big Green to climb back into the game.
Several missed plays and rushed shots were taken by the Elis before the offense had settled, giving Dartmouth excellent opportunities in transition.
“We’re usually a fourth quarter team and a scrappy team that comes back from deficits,” defenseman Noah Glass ’03 said. “Today we had so many turnovers and forces and that resulted in our goals.”
After climbing back into the game with a steady series of third quarter goals, the Big Green narrowed the Yale lead to one early in the fourth quarter with a transition goal while the Yale defense was still subbing onto the field.
“We had offensive breakdowns,” head coach Darryl Delia said. “I preach disciplined offense, you have to have that. We put our defense at a disadvantage and we gave Dartmouth easy transitions.”
Two minutes later, Roslyn tied the game when he rolled free of his defender and shot high in the right corner over Yale goalie Roy Skeen, who finished with 14 saves.
With just over three minutes to play in the game, Roslyn’s shot from outside evaded Skeen, giving Dartmouth its first lead since the Green was up 1-0.
Scott Kenworthy ’04, off a leading pass from middie Ned Britt ’04, tied the game with 2:13 remaining in the game, but the Elis were unable to score again to take the lead despite several shots, including one from Seth Goldberg ’04 which bounced off the right post.
With 37 ticks left on the clock, Dartmouth again took a 1-goal lead on a low shot from Ryan Danehy, but it was erased ten seconds later by Moylan before Roslyn won the game for Dartmouth.
“If we’d settled in the 6-6 more I think we could have gotten more goals that way,” Glass said.
With more focused offense in the first half, the Bulldogs were able to generate much more offense.
Dartmouth scored the first goal in the game, but held the lead for only 16 seconds before the Bulldogs tied the game at one goal apiece. Christian Jensen ’06 recorded his first collegiate goal off a pass from fellow rookie Dan Brillman ’06.
Good play from defensemen Ned Smith ’03 and Glass kept Dartmouth off the board for the remainder of the quarter, and it appeared as if the game would remain deadlocked.
But with one second remaining on the clock, a turnaround goal from Brillman in which he propelled a pass from Smith into the net, gave Yale the edge.
“We had a great first half,” Delia said. “I was very happy with the offense, and defensively and in goal we were playing well.”
The second quarter saw a number of series with great ball movement from the Elis, with captain Mike Scaglione ’03 and defensive middie DJ Barry ’05 providing good looks and rapid transition, although the Elis were unable to convert again until 6:07 remaining in the second, when middie Britt recorded an unassisted score from the right side to bring the Elis up 3-1.
A series of impressive saves from goalie Roy Skeen, including one that came on a point blank undefended shot by Dartmouth, enabled the Elis to extend their lead as they did when Dan Sale took a pass from Brillman and redirected it into the goal with 2:05 to go in the half.
The teams entered halftime with Yale leading 4-1, and the Bulldogs extended that lead less than a minute into the second half when a persistent Goldberg beat his defender near the crease and gave Yale it’s fifth goal of the game.
Dartmouth rebounded with two scores, the first coming just 17 seconds after Goldberg’s score, and two minutes later, Darren Yulfo ran in unassisted to push the ball over Skeen’s weak-side shoulder.
The Big Green narrowed Yale’s lead to a goal with 2:10 to play in the third quarter. The Elis answered back with 26 seconds remaining with a quick sequence between Scaglione and attackman Ryan Floyd, returning after missing two games with injury. Floyd’s goal made the score 6-4.
“We knew going in that Yale was a real good team,” Roslyn said. “We knew we’d have to limit our errors and capitalize on our chances. It was a test of character once we got down.”
The Bulldogs character will be tested Saturday when they travel to Harvard for a crucial game both in terms of record and pride. Last season, the Elis defeated the Crimson 6-5 in a game that went down to the wire.
“I don’t know if there’s anything that could make us any more excited for this game,” Glass said. “The last three times we’ve played them, all the games have been really intense.”