MEN’S LACROSSE | Senior Day Ivy comeback

Colin Flaherty ’15 sealed the game against Dartmouth with 47 seconds left to play when he put away his second unassisted goal of the fourth quarter.
Colin Flaherty ’15 sealed the game against Dartmouth with 47 seconds left to play when he put away his second unassisted goal of the fourth quarter. Photo by Frederick Frank.

Midfielder Colin Flaherty ’15 took six shots in this weekend’s win against Dartmouth, scoring half of them for a hat trick. What makes the feat more of a rarity is that Flaherty scored all three of his goals to lift Yale up and come from behind in the last 12 minutes of action to top the Big Green 7–5.

On Saturday, the Yale men’s lacrosse team (6–3, 2–2 Ivy) hosted the Big Green (2-7, 0-3 Ivy) for its fourth conference match up of the season. This weekend’s win put the Elis on a three-game winning streak and lifted their conference record to an even .500. After a quick start and early two-goal lead, the Elis were lulled into inaction, giving Dartmouth the 5–4 edge going into the final quarter before an explosive offense put the Bulldogs back on top.

“I thought we were playing a little tight,” head coach Andy Shay said. “We challenged Colin [Flaherty] late in the game, and he stepped up when his teammates needed him to.”

Flaherty first scored with 11:54 left in the final quarter when attackman Conrad Oberbeck ’15 hit his fellow sophomore with a pass near the crease. Flaherty then took a moment before firing through Dartmouth goaltender Bernie Susskind’s legs. Flaherty struck again with just a minute and a half left in regulation to give the Bulldogs the last-minute lead. He sealed the game just 41 seconds later when he put away his second unassisted goal of the quarter.

“The fourth quarter was definitely not all my responsibility. I felt our offense really got in a flow by moving the ball well and we were able to generate a lot of scoring opportunities,” Flaherty said. “I was fortunate enough to be able to finish a few of mine.”

Despite the late dramatics from the Yale offense, the Yale defense remained strong all game and the offense also jumped out to a strong start before its overwhelming performance late in the game.

Attackman Brandon Mangan ’14 struck first for the Bulldogs three minutes into the game. Two minutes later, Yale jumped farther ahead to a 2–0 lead, but each goal the Bulldogs scored after Mangan’s was matched by the Big Green. Attackman Kirby Zdrill ’13 put Yale up 3–1 but Dartmouth managed to squeeze a shot past goaltender Eric Natale ’15 with under a minute left in the first quarter.

Dartmouth held the Bulldogs to a scoreless second quarter and outscored Yale 2–1 at the start of the second half to give the Big Green a 5–4 lead heading into the final period of action.

Flaherty’s flair in the final quarter boosted the Elis over the Big Green in the final 10 minutes of Saturday’s matchup.

“We really focused on being tough and gritty and I think it worked out for us,” Zdrill said. “We were struggling a bit on offence so we tried to focus on the process and play Yale lacrosse.”

Yale outshot the Big Green by a huge 25-shot margin at 44–19 and were able to clear the ball successfully 16 of 18 times. While the Elis went 0-for-2 on man-up opportunities, they had five fewer turnovers than the Big Green and Natale made six saves.

“The one thing we did well all game was the definitely defense,” Flaherty said.

With the victory over Dartmouth on senior day, the last Saturday game the class of 2013 will play at Reese Stadium, the seniors have earned the fifth most wins ever by a class at Yale since the lacrosse program was started back in 1882.

The Bulldogs will play another league game this Friday at Reese Stadium under the lights when Brown makes the trip from Providence. Face-off will be at 7 p.m.

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