Despite playing just one scrimmage, the men’s lacrosse team engineered a solid victory over a team that already played two contests.
The Bulldogs (1-0) jumped out to an early lead and then withstood a mid-game offensive run by Drexel (1-2) to earn an 11-7 win in Darryl Delia’s debut as interim head coach.
“It feels good, although there’s a lot of things we should have executed better,” Delia said.
Captain Mike Scaglione ’03, Ryan Floyd ’03 and Ned Britt ’04 each recorded a hat trick in the game, while Seth Goldberg ’05 added two goals. Goalie Roy Skeen ’04, in his first collegiate start, picked up the victory.
Shaking off rustiness, the Bulldogs started quickly on the visiting Dragons. Floyd tallied Yale’s first goal just over a minute into the game.
With 9:39 remaining in the first quarter, the Bulldogs showed their transition speed when Britt fed a pass to Scaglione, who caught it in stride and scored past Drexel goaltender Will Melton.
Floyd’s second goal of the game two minutes later gave Yale a 3-0 margin.
After a botched Yale clear, the Dragons rebounded, with Jessie Rumble taking advantage of the possession and beating Skeen to narrow Yale’s lead to 3-1 heading into the second quarter.
For much of the second quarter, the Elis had a tough time maintaining possession, allowing the Dragons a scoring streak. After Yale was whistled for one of its 12 penalties, Brendan Morgan scored high in the left corner to narrow the margin to one before Sean Moloney, who led Drexel in scoring last season, tied the game.
“They had the ball for a really large amount of time, which didn’t allow us many scoring opportunities,” Goldberg said. “Once we got the ball down to our end, we were able to get our offense set up, and we got opportunities to score.”
But before the Elis regained constant possession, Drexel added a go-ahead goal when Jaret Mizzi ran around the crease and beat Skeen to go up 4-3.
A hard shot from about 10 feet out by Britt evened the score, and Floyd completed his hat trick two minutes later with a shot from in close.
The Bulldogs outshot Drexel 43-29, but Delia said a good number of shots were misplaced.
“Our shot selection was kind of weak,” he said. “At one point we shot at [Melton’s] feet a lot, which is his strength.”
Drexel would tie things once more. A pass from behind the net by Morgan was successfully converted by Moloney, who fired the ball past Skeen’s stick to tie the game at five.
But Drexel’s success was short-lived, when Goldberg caught a look from Floyd and bounced the ball in with less than a minute remaining in the half.
“We were trying to force it a little bit during that bad stretch,” Skeen said. “Once we got the clearing straight, and the offense got a chance to get some good possession and quality shots, we were able to get back on track.”
The Bulldogs won 15 of 21 faceoffs, the majority taken by rookie faceoff specialist Dan Kallaugher ’06, who has been successful in that role early this season.
The first goal of the second half came from Scaglione, who sidearmed the ball into the net while falling down for his second goal of the game, this one unassisted.
After Britt gave Yale an 8-5 lead with 4:39 to play in the third quarter, Drexel mounted a comeback, narrowing Yale’s lead to one, before the Bulldogs pulled away for good.
Evading a double-team with some good stickwork, Scaglione drove to the goal and scored low on Melton to put Yale up 9-7 with 5:40 to play. Goldberg and Britt added their second and third goals, respectively, to finish with the 11-7 victory.
Yale’s 12 penalties, totaling nearly 10 minutes of man-down time, hurt the Elis, but strong defensive play stymied many Drexel offensive attempts.
Stingy one-on-one defense by longstick defenders Noah Glass ’03 and Todd Montgomery ’04 gave the Elis a number of takeaway opportunities in the backfield.
Skeen finished with nine saves to Melton’s 14.
The Elis’ next contest comes over spring break, when they face Penn State in Florida March 11.
“It’s the first game, so there’s definitely a lot we need to improve on,” Goldberg said. “We didn’t play to our potential in any aspect, but I think that we’ll only keep improving, and the next test against Penn State is going to be very important, because they’re a tough team.”