During its four-game winning streak, which began on the first of the month, the men’s lacrosse team has made a habit of getting ahead of its opponents early, scoring the first goal in three of those four contests. The squad looked like it had no intention of ending that trend last night.
The Bulldogs (9–3, 3–2 Ivy) scored the first four goals of their game against cross-town rival Quinnipiac (5–8, 3–3 MAAC) last night and never looked back, pulling out their fifth straight win. Although the Bobcats closed to within one goal in the third quarter, the Elis gritted out a 14–11 victory in front of their home crowd at Reese Stadium.
“Like I have said all year, we need to play for all 60 minutes,” attackman Brandon Mangan ’14 said. “We show flashes of brilliance and then play bonehead lacrosse for a few minutes to let teams back in it.”
Mangan and attackman Conrad Oberbeck ’15 led the charge for the Bulldogs, notching three goals apiece. Oberbeck scored the first goal of the contest at 14:01 in the opening frame and added two more in the period. Quinnipiac’s Ryan Keenan scored the lone goal for the Bobcats in the stanza, and the Bobcats trailed 7–1 after the first.
Quinnipiac began closing the gap during the second, outscoring Yale 4–1 to enter the break down three goals, 8–5. Keenan scored two more goals for the Bobcats, while Yale midfielder Sean Shakespeare ’15 scored Yale’s only goal of the frame. Shakespeare was assisted by attackman Jeff Cimbalista ’17, who added one other assist and two goals on the day.
The Bobcats came out firing on all cylinders after the half. Although the Elis followed the period-opening Quinnipiac goal with two of their own, the Bobcats then rattled off three straight goals, one each from Keenan, Nate Nibbelink and Matt Kycia. Kycia’s goal brought Quinnipiac to within one, 10–9, with 8:24 remaining in the third.
“After the first quarter, we got sucked into playing crazy and high-paced, which isn’t really our game,” midfielder Colin Flaherty ’15 said. “In the fourth, we were able to set the tone again and play patient and intelligent lacrosse.”
A Mangan goal at the end of the third extended Yale’s lead to two, and the Bobcats were never able to close the gap further. Midfielders Eric Scott ’17 and Michael Bonacci ’16 each scored a goal in the fourth to bring the Elis’ total to 14.
Keenan led the Quinnipiac offense, tallying six goals and an assist.
“We weren’t great tonight,” captain Jimmy Craft ’14 said of the defense’s performance. “I think we were just a step slow reacting to their offense, and it put us on our heels. However, we buckled down late and got the kills we needed to secure the game.”
The Bulldogs went 2–3 on the man-up advantage last night, including a firecracker by Scott in the fourth quarter. Yale goaltender Eric Natale ’15 picked up his ninth win of the season and made three saves.
The men’s lacrosse team will conclude its season this Saturday at home against Harvard.