Unable to pull off the come-from-behind victory for the third game in a row, the men’s lacrosse team looked on in despair as Albany did what it could not.
Trailing 9-7 with 10 minutes left, the Great Danes scored five straight goals, to take the game 12-9 in Albany Wednesday.
It was the fifth straight loss and a moral disaster for the Bulldogs (4-5, 1-3 Ivy), who had battled back from late deficits in each of their last two games only to fall short in both.
“All of us are a little frustrated right now,” defender Gray Eklund ’06 said. “We seem to be getting ourselves into close games, whether we’re favored or the other team is favored, but we can’t come away with a win.”
In the Bulldogs’ 14-13 loss to then-No. 12 Army April 17, Yale scored three consecutive goals in the fourth quarter to tie the score with 1:31 on the game clock. Just nine seconds passed before the Black Knights responded with the eventual game-winner.
Three days later against then-No.12 Brown, the Bulldogs reduced the Bears’ 12-8 lead to a single goal in a matter of seconds. But Yale could not complete the comeback and fell, 12-11.
“Against Army and Brown, we fought hard and we fought hard against Albany, but we didn’t put them away,” Eklund said. “We let them get back in the game.”
Whereas the Bulldogs never led in the second half against Black Knights or the Bears, Wednesday night, Yale rallied from down 7-5 and held a two-goal edge midway through the final quarter.
But at 8:42 in the fourth, Albany’s Merrick Thompson scored to cut the deficit in half before Michael Solazzo erased the Eli advantage completely three minutes later. Luke Daquino then put Albany up for good with his 13th and 14th scores of the season, respectively. The Great Danes added a final empty-net goal at the 1:42 mark.
“We didn’t play as well as we could have,” Yale midfielder Ian Cadieu ’06 said. “They were a good team, but it was more our part.”
In the first quarter, Yale had jumped out to a 2-0 lead and sustained the advantage until Albany tied the game at 3-3 at 1:54.
After Eli midfielder Ned Britt ’04 scored to open the second, Albany notched a pair of goals to give the Great Danes their first lead of the game at 6:57. It would last only a little over a minute as Yale captain Scott Kenworthy ’04, an attacker, tallied, and the teams headed into halftime tied 5-5.
“We knew we could play with [Albany], if not dominate them,” Eklund said. “If not for the penalties, they probably would have scored only two or three goals instead of five.”
A mere 45 seconds into the third quarter, Solazzo struck for his second goal on the evening. Albany attacker Frank Resetarits followed suit at 12:15, setting up Yale and Albany’s late-game runs.
Kenworthy led the Bulldogs with a hat trick. Britt finished with two goals, both in the first half, and two assists. Midfielders David Schecter ’06 and Ryan Capilupi ’04 and attackers Colin Neville ’06 and Seth Goldberg ’05 chipped in one goal apiece.
In net, Jordan Ellis ’07 collected 10 saves. Kevin Rae, a junior, had 15 for the Great Danes.
“The last few games have been hard,” Cadieu said. “We just have to come together as a team and get through this.”
Yale returns to action Saturday when it hosts Massachusetts at Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium.
The game marks the first meeting between Yale first-year head coach Andy Shay and his former team. Prior to coming to New Haven, Shay spent four years as an assistant coach for the Minutemen.
“There’s going to be a lot at stake,” Eklund said. “UMass has been having somewhat of an off year, so hopefully we can take advantage and get out of this slump.”