The seniors on the men’s lacrosse team (8-3, 2-3 Ivy) will never know what it’s like to lose to Harvard.
With seven unanswered second-half goals Saturday, the Bulldogs put the Cantabs away 11-6 Saturday, giving the class of 2003 a four-year sweep of Harvard (4-8, 1-4).
“The emotions run so high for the Harvard-Yale game,” defenseman Brad Liff ’03 said. “It’s incredible that our class has been able to win all four years. I can’t imagine being on the losing end of such an emotional game.”
Smart offense and team play helped the Elis overcome a deficit created by a penalty-ridden second quarter in which the Bulldogs picked up five penalties — four for slashing.
“It was pretty frustrating, because we had the ball for only a few minutes,” attackman Seth Goldberg ’05 said. “Being a man down put our defense in a hole.”
But in the second half, the defense was anything but, allowing only one goal in the opening minutes of the third quarter and shutting out Harvard thereafter. In goal, Roy Skeen ’04 stopped 11 of the 36 shots taken by the Crimson.
“Basically, everyone came out fired up because of the huge rivalry,” said defensive middie D.J. Barry ’05, who picked up two assists. “We had to prove ourselves after the disappointing loss to Dartmouth.”
The Elis led 3-2 after one quarter of play, with a pair of goals from captain Mike Scaglione ’03 off feeds from Marcus Ruopp ’06 and Ned Smith ’03 and an extra-man setup from Dave Schecter ’06 to Scott Kenworthy ’04.
After Goldberg converted the first of two assists from Barry to give Yale a 4-2 lead, a number of questionable penalties in the second allowed Harvard to score two man-up goals, followed by a goal from the Crimson’s Scott Kane after another penalty had expired. Another goal from Kane less than two minutes into the second half gave the Crimson a 6-4 advantage.
After blowing a lead against Dartmouth University on Wednesday, the Bulldogs found themselves on the other side of the table.
“We knew coming out of the Dartmouth game that we had to stay focused and intense the entire game,” Barry said. “Instead of self-destructing when they made a run, we needed to stay within our game plan and not try to do too much individually.”
With a combination of transition scores and six-on-six offense, the Bulldogs used a 7-0 run to climb back into the game before putting it away for good.
The streak began when Pat Moylan ’03 tallied an unassisted goal with 10 minutes to play in the third period. Ruopp, off a feed from Goldberg, tied the game at 6 apiece three minutes later, and Goldberg’s second of the game was the go-ahead goal.
“Offensively, we really took advantage of our opportunities both in transition and in settled offense,” Goldberg said. “We really played as a team and not just individually, and in our big games that we’ve won, that’s what we’ve been doing.”
A pair of tallies from middie Ned Britt ’04, followed by hat trick goals from both Goldberg and Scaglione, completed the run and gave the Bulldogs the win.
Meanwhile, a combination of smart offense and stingy defense kept the Crimson off the scoreboard.
“Our defensive scheme wasn’t much different than usual,” Liff said. “We really tried to hold our slides and rely on our defensive players to dominate their one on one matchups. The real key was that we avoided unsettled transition situations because the offense did an excellent job of possessing the ball.”
The Bulldogs have a week off until their next contest against Ivy League opponent University of Pennsylvania next Saturday April 26 in Philadelphia.