M. LACROSSE | Attacker Brian Douglass ’11 tallied seven goals Saturday to help the Elis record a 16–14 win against Penn. It was Yale’s first Ivy League victory this season.
The Elis (5–2, 1–2 Ivy) led 10–2 at halftime, but the Quakers (4–6, 0–3) rallied in the final 30 minutes, narrowing the gap with another 12 goals and grabbing the game’s momentum.
“Some teams are very good at adjusting mid-game,” Douglass said. “It’s hard to defend against that… but I really felt like the guys fought the comeback.”
Yale earned a 3–0 lead in the first quarter with a pair of goals by Douglass and another tally by attacker Brendan Gibson ’10. The Elis largely controlled possession in the first quarter and foiled most of Penn’s opportunities when the visitors made it to Yale’s defensive zone.
The Bulldogs continued to widen the gap in the second quarter, scoring another seven goals and holding the Quakers to only two.
Midfielder Matt Fuchs ’10 capitalized first in the second quarter, with an unassisted goal at 14:13 to make it 4–0. Attacker Matt Gibson ’12, Brendan Gibson and Douglass also had notched a pair of goals apiece with just more than two minutes left before halftime.
It looked like Yale would keep the shutout running as halftime approached until midfielder Al Kohart — Penn’s second best scorer heading into the game against Yale — beat goalie Johnathan Falcone ’11 from close range to get the Quakers on the board with 1:45 left in the quarter. Kohart kept the momentum going with an unassisted goal 17 seconds before halftime.
But Penn’s rally began in earnest after the restart. The Quakers outscored the Elis 4–3 in the third quarter and largely controlled possession.
Trailing Yale 13–6 at the start of the final frame, Penn capitalized eight more times in the final 15 minutes of competition to cut the lead Yale had held all game. But the Elis scored three goals of their own and ultimately prevented Penn from completing the comeback.
“The middle of the fourth, we were holding the ball and not pressing the cage,” head coach Andy Shay said. “We should have kept the throttle going.”
Midfielder Dan Savage notched the Quaker’s 12th and final goal with 30 seconds remaining in the game, and the visitors threatened Yale’s net again soon after. But Falcone made a big save with 10 seconds left on the clock and heaved the ball to the other end of the field, letting time run out before either side could truly regain possession.
Douglass now leads Yale as the squad’s top scorer, though he entered Saturday’s game with 11 goals to Matt Gibson’s 12.
While late-game rallies proved a challenge to the Elis last year, Douglass said the team is approaching such comebacks with a new mentality this season.
“I think the one big difference this year is playing to win rather than playing not to lose,” he said.
Yale returns to Reese Stadium tomorrow at 1 p.m. for an Easter Sunday special against Detroit.