If the last two games are any indication, by the end of this spring, fans of the men’s lacrosse team may not have any more nails left to bite.
Trailing 12-8 to No. 12 Brown late in the fourth quarter, Yale appeared to be on the losing end of a rout. But with 1:28 remaining on the game clock, midfielder Ned Britt ’04 scored to spark a Yale run of three goals in a span of 32 seconds. In less than a minute, the Bulldogs went from down-and-out to down a single goal with possession of the ball. Yale (4-4, 1-3 Ivy), however, was unable to complete the comeback and fell 12-11 Saturday at Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium.
It was the second straight game in which the Bulldogs rallied from behind in the final minutes only to lose by a goal.
In Yale’s 14-13 loss to No. 12 Army at home on Wednesday, the Bulldogs battled back from a three-goal deficit in the fourth quarter. They had a chance to send the contest into overtime, but the game-tying shot came just seconds after time expired.
“[Saturday's game] was a definitely a tough loss, especially considering it was right after another close loss,” attacker Seth Goldberg ’05 said. “We played really hard for four quarters. We just couldn’t pull it out in the end.”
Play was fairly even in the first quarter as Brown (7-1, 1-0) staked a two-goal lead midway through the frame before a pair of Goldberg tallies knotted the score at 3-3. The Bears then notched two goals of their own to enter the second quarter ahead 5-3.
Over the next 20 minutes, Brown seized control of the game, shutting out the Bulldogs for the rest of the half while stretching their lead to 8-3. Nevertheless, the Elis remained confident.
“We knew we could always come back,” attacker Dan Brillman ’06 said. “There’s no game that can get out of reach.”
Midway through the third, captain Scott Kenworthy ’04 netted an extra-man goal, ending a 5-0 Brown run. After the Bears’ David Madeira scored, Goldberg, midfielder David Schecter ’06 and Brillman struck back-to-back-to-back to cut the deficit to two. Just when momentum appeared to have crept over to the Bulldogs’ side, Kyle Wailes and Madiera tallied, pushing the Bears’ lead back up to four at 11-7.
Brown and Yale traded goals prior to the Bulldogs’ final push.
Goalie Jordan Ellis ’07 recorded seven saves for Yale, while Brown’s Mike Levin made 16, including one on sophomore Colin Neville’s bounce-shot with three seconds left in the game.
Goldberg, held scoreless Wednesday against the Black Knights, netted six goals to increase his season-total to 24.
“The Army game was personally frustrating for me,” Goldberg said. “But we have plenty of guys that are capable of scoring. The problem is that we haven’t been able to put the whole package together on offense.”
At times Saturday, especially during the scoreless stretch in the middle quarters, the Bulldogs struggled to get the ball past the midfield line. Even when Yale got into the Bears’ box and set up its offense, the Elis had difficulty executing their attack. Interestingly enough, the Bulldogs were most efficient when hurrying.
“We were able to score goals when we needed to in a short amount of time,” midfielder Christian Jensen ’06 said. “We have to work on scoring when we possess the ball and run our sets. It all goes back to maintaining our focus and discipline. When we lose our concentration, we make mistakes.”
Such lapses may have cost the Bulldogs the last few games, especially the last two, which Yale lost by a goal each.
“It’s disappointing to lose four straight, and especially when you’re in the games until the last minute,” Goldberg said. “We haven’t been able to play our game for 60 minutes. We just have to stay focused and keep the intensity up.”
Yale, loser of four straight, next travels to Albany Wednesday for a non-conference match-up against the Great Danes (5-3).