With 44 seconds left in the men’s lacrosse game, a loud cheer went up from the bench after defensive midfielder Anson Frericks ’06 scored his first career goal. This cheer not only showed the team’s support for Frericks, but also signified the way in which the Elis came together to achieve their fourth win.
After the disappointing loss to Cornell (3-2, 1-0 Ivy) last Saturday, the Elis (4-2, 1-1) responded by working together on offense and defense to dominate Hartford (1-5) 21-7 yesterday at Johnson Field.
The crisp passing of the ball and fewer turnovers in the second half allowed 12 different players to score for the Bulldogs. On the other side of the field, the defense stood its ground to keep the Hawks from tallying a score for 27:58 in the middle of the contest.
Yale head coach Andy Shay said overall the game went well.
“We talked about executing and playing hard and we did that,” Shay said. “We struggled a little initially and [the Hawks] were getting by and they have some good shooters. But our offense dusted their sticks off.”
After scoring only six goals against the No. 11 Big Red, the Elis got rid of the cobwebs with an offensive explosion. Attackmen Seth Goldberg ’05 and Dan Brillman ’06 tied for the team lead in points for the evening. Goldberg found the back of the net four times, including three nice shots during the Elis’ 11-goal run. Brillman had two goals and two assists to rack up four points.
Goldberg attributed the team’s play on attack to controlling the ball.
“We were moving the ball very well and we got some good flow,” Goldberg said. “We were able to get some confidence on offense, which is important.”
Besides Brillman and Goldberg, two of the most prolific offensive players on the team right now, the Elis had five players who scored their first career goal — Dave Levy ’07, James Rump ’07, Kyle Washabaugh ’08, Ben Fuchs ’07, and Frericks.
“Once we were up, I tried to get everyone in the game and I was happy to do that,” Shay said. “They are a good team and they really support each other. They got excited.”
Goldberg said he was glad these five were able to get some points after working hard day in and day out.
Frericks, who as a defensive midfielder was not expected to shoot at the end of the game, said his teammates inspired him to score by cheering for him from the sidelines.
“I was really pumped up,” Frericks said. “I was working hard to get open and when I had the ball I was firing away.”
The second half offensive blitz was supported by a defense that had settled down after the beginning of the game. Frericks said the Canadians on Hartford’s team, such as Matt Holman from Ontario who finished with a hat trick, were difficult to guard at first because of their dodging.
“They do a lot of fakes and have different footwork,” Frericks said. “A lot of lacrosse players are North-South oriented but the Canadians were East-West with a lot of dodging and re-dodging. They did a good job in the first half holding onto the ball.”
Long-stick Gray Eklund ’06 said the defense started to click a little more after working together.
“They were really crafty and deceptive, but we got used to it,” Eklund said. “We focused on playing good positional defense and that helped us.”
Frericks said that overall the level of cooperation was higher against the Hawks than versus the Big Red.
“There was a lot more teamwork [yesterday],” Frericks said. “We were a lot more confident versus this team. We weren’t overconfident but we knew we should beat them. It was a good offensive game for us.”
The teamwork that set up the attack and grounded the defense may be emphasized in practice this week.