It was déjà vu all over again for the men’s lacrosse team on Saturday.
For the third straight time, the Bulldogs (4-5, 1-3 Ivy) stayed with an Ivy League foe for most of the game but ultimately let things get away from them late in the contest. On Saturday, the Elis held a 9-6 lead early in the third quarter against No. 12 Brown, but the Bears (9-1, 2-0) scored seven unanswered goals for a 13-9 win at Stephenson Field in Providence, R.I.
Attackers Michael Karwoski ’09 and Brendan Gibson ’10 and midfielder Matt Miller ’12 each scored two goals for the Bulldogs, and attacker Brian Douglass ’11 added two assists.
“It’s demoralizing because we’ve had so many chances,” midfielder Nick Tsouris ’10 said about the close losses. “Brown was the No. 12 team in the nation, and we’ve shown that we can play with them … It’s extremely frustrating.”
Domination on the stat sheet compounded the sense of frustration for Bulldog players. Yale outshot Brown 38-28, had a 37-26 advantage in ground balls and won 18 of 24 faceoffs for the away squad thanks to faceoff man Kevin Discepolo ’09.
All-American senior goalie Jordan Burke played a major role in Brown’s win with 14 saves, while Johnathan Falcone ’11 made four saves in net for Yale.
The Bulldogs fell to two-goal deficits twice in the second quarter, but responded with five straight goals in the span of about eight minutes to claim an 8-5 advantage early in the third. The two teams subsequently traded a pair of goals, but that would be it for the Elis, who were held scoreless for the remaining 25 minutes of the game. Brown attacker Andrew Feinberg tied things up at nine a piece with 9:20 remaining in the game, and the Bears ended the game with four more goals to finalize the comeback victory.
“In the early part of the game we were stopping their transition,” captain and defenseman Matt Aronson ’09 said. “As long as we were playing them 6-on-6, I thought we matched up well, but in the fourth quarter we gave up a lot of transition goals and that kind of killed us.”
After having been perfect with 13 of 13 clears during the first periods, the Bulldogs struggled to clear the ball out of their defensive zone in the final period. Yale only completed three of seven clears, enabling the home team to retain possession of the ball and pile up a 9-3 advantage in shots on goal.
“If you give teams like that offensive opportunities, they’ll capitalize on them,” Gibson said.
Tsouris said the team would have to win both of its remaining Ivy League games — against Harvard and Dartmouth — in order to be satisfied with its season.
If Yale is to end the season on a high note, it will need to buck the trend of tapering out in the fourth quarter.
“We wouldn’t change anything about how we play, it’s just about making it happen in the end of the game,” Tsouris added.
Yale takes a break from Ivy League play next weekend when the Bulldogs welcome No. 20 Fairfield to Reese Stadium for a 7 p.m. opening faceoff on Saturday.