In its second Ivy League victory of the season, the men’s lacrosse team held Dartmouth to only three goals on Saturday, recording an 8–3 win.
Attacker Matt Gibson ’12 scored five of the Bulldogs’ goals against the Big Green (3–5, 1–2 Ivy) while attacker Brian Douglass ’11, the team’s leading scorer, added two. The Elis (7–2, 2–2 Ivy) now hold a three-game win streak after also notching a pair of victories against Penn and Detroit Mercy the weekend before.
The Big Green entered Saturday’s competition riding their own wave of momentum after upsetting then No. 6 Cornell with an 8–6 win at Gillette Stadium last Saturday — their first win against the Big Red in 13 years. But Yale shut down the surging squad in Hanover, N.H.
“They were starting to play a lot better and we knew it was going to be a tough game,” head coach Andy Shay said of Dartmouth’s team. “We were worried about their offense.”
Still, the Big Green offense did not seem to faze the Elis on Saturday. Yale took control of the game’s pace from the start.
Gibson was the first to score for the Bulldogs, cutting in from behind the net to tally the contest’s opening goal at 6:37 into the first quarter. He hit the back of the net again on man-up play with two minutes remaining in the first quarter to give his team a 2–0 advantage. And the Bulldogs never let up that lead.
Yale capitalized twice more in the second quarter, with an unassisted tally from midfielder Gregory Mahony ’12 at 4:40 and another goal by Gibson with 1:55 left before halftime.
The Elis held a 4–0 edge after the restart, and they made that lead 6–0 before Dartmouth could get on the board. Gibson scored Yale’s fifth goal with 9:24 remaining in the third quarter and Douglass added another less than a minute later.
“We were very focused going into the game and obviously as an Ivy League game we knew it was a pivotal game in the season,” goalie Johnathan Falcone ’11 said. “The strategies that our coaches are using just makes us very prepared in the beginning of games and has allowed us to establish those leads.”
But the Big Green finally snapped the shutout halfway through the third frame, when midfielder Chris Costabile beat Falcone to net his squad’s first goal. Dartmouth made it 6–2 when attacker Ari Sussman, who leads his team in goals and points, scored with about three minutes left in the third quarter.
Still, that was the only goal Sussman would get all day — defenders Peter Johnson ’13 and Michael McCormack ’13 combining to guard Dartmouth’s star attacker throughout the game.
“He’s one of the best attackers in the country and he had one goal,” Shay said of Sussman. “[Johnson and McCormack] basically shut him down.”
Johnson said he relied heavily on teammates to help contain Sussman’s efforts.
“He’s fast but all I did was pretty much stay on his left hand,” Johnson said.
Falcone was another big component of the Bulldogs’ defensive action, making seven saves throughout the first three quarters. But Falcone really stepped things up in the final frame and recorded another eight saves in those 15 minutes alone to repeatedly deny Dartmouth in its best attacking quarter.
“[Falcone] played great,” Shay said. “He was composed and he had to come up in the fourth quarter — that’s when they got most of their shots and John really came through.”
The Big Green fired 15 shots in the fourth quarter — as many as they had totaled during the first three quarters — to Yale’s nine, but still only managed to capitalize once. The Elis were good for another two goals that frame.
Falcone said many of the shots Dartmouth took toward the end were more reckless ones.
“At the end of the game they take some more desperation shots and the defense was doing a great job forcing shots to be taken from the outside,” he said.
Douglass scored his second goal of the day at 2:19 into the fourth quarter, when then Blue had a one-man advantage. Dartmouth’s Josh Etzion countered 37 seconds later to score his team’s third and final goal. After eight more minutes of scoreless play, Gibson struck for the last time with 4:10 left on the clock to make the score 8–3.
With two Ancient Eight wins under their belts, the Elis remain in contention for a berth at this year’s inaugural Ivy League post-season tournament.
“The win against Dartmouth helps a lot, especially after they came off the win against Cornell,” Johnson said. “It’s great that there is a lot of parity in the Ivy League and it shows that on any given day anybody could win the Ivy League Tournament.”
The Elis faceoff next in a 1 p.m. away contest against Providence on Tuesday.