Coming off a tough loss to UMass-Amherst, the men’s lacrosse team was looking for redemption against Dartmouth yesterday.
And the Sons of Eli (6-5, 3-2 Ivy) found their savior in the form of attacker Mike Morris ’01, who rocketed home the game-winning goal, which secured the Bulldogs’ come-from-behind 10-9 victory with nine seconds remaining in regulation. Other leaders for the Bulldogs included midfielder Edward Britt ’04 with two goals, and attacker Tucker Foote ’02, who managed to put one in the back of the net despite a heavily bandaged shin that limited his mobility.
The victory against Dartmouth (3-6, 0-3 Ivy) marks only the second time this season that the Bulldogs have been able to turn a close contest in their favor. In four other matches this year, the Bulldogs have lost by a total of seven goals.
With over seven Bulldogs getting on the board, the team more than made up for the quiet performance of team point leader Brian Hunt ’01, who managed only one goal the entire game.
“It was definitely a team effort,” goalie Adam Oppenheimer ’02 said. “When the defense was lagging, the offense helped out; when the offense was lagging, the defense stepped up.”
Morris’ game-winning goal exemplified the Elis’ team-effort. The play all began when defender Todd Montgomery ’04 broke the Big Green forechecking with an outlet pass to Ryan Floyd ’03. The result was a perfect give-and-go that found Morris cutting to the goal down the middle.
Bulldogs assistant coach Darryl Delia cited Montgomery as one of the main contributors to the Bulldogs’ success.
“Todd has vision and poise on the field that is well beyond his years,” Delia said.
The game was close throughout, with neither team leading by more than three goals at a time.
Dartmouth gained the lead for the first time with 9:27 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Big Green extended its lead to two after an offensive strike nine seconds later.
Despite the two goal advantage, Dartmouth head coach Rick Sovell decided not to alter his offensive strategy.
“I didn’t think two goals was going to hold up,” Sovell said.
In the end, Dartmouth attack man Connor Price said the determining factor was not attributable to the performance of any individual player.
“[Yale] got a lucky bounce in the end,” Price said.
Luck or not, the Bulldogs will use this victory to boost their confidence heading into their prime-time competition at Harvard April 21.
Although the Bulldogs were victorious against the Big Green, their overall performance is still in need of some fine tuning.
“We’re giving up too many high percentage shots,” Oppenheimer said. “The defense has been having trouble in transition. It’s tough to make those big saves all the time.”
Against Harvard, the Bulldogs hope to prove that they can maintain their focus throughout the match.
“It’s just a matter of getting into a flow,” head coach Mike Waldvogel said. “We’re going to have to keep our minds in the game throughout.”
[ydn-legacy-photo-inline id=”20481″ ]