PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown goalie Matt Levine sat alone on the bench, his head slumped into his stick, as the Yale men’s lacrosse team huddled loudly at midfield in celebration.
For Levine and the Bears, it was the first time in four years that Yale had been victorious over Brown, and the Elis did so with an impressive team effort throughout.
Off the strength of a 4-goal minute in the second quarter, the Bulldogs (5-2, 1-2 Ivy) grabbed a crucial Ivy League victory, defeating the Brown Bears 14-9 at Stevenson Field in Providence, R.I.
Four goals apiece from captain Mike Scaglione ’03 and middie Ned Britt ’04 and a hat trick from attackman Scott Kenworthy ’04 beat Levine, while faceoff man Dan Kallaugher ’06 won 13 of the 24 faceoffs he took to help spark Yale’s breakout second quarter.
On the other end, strong defensive play by Noah Glass ’03 and the rest of the Bulldog defense held Brown’s leading scorer, John Thompson, to only two assists and no goals over the course of the game.
“That was part of our game plan,” head coach Darryl Delia said. “We needed Noah to have a great game and hold him scoreless and Noah played a great physical brand of defense.”
The win was a big one for the Elis, who had dropped their first two Ivy contests against Cornell and Princeton and needed the spark to their season.
It was also a key victory in Yale’s series against the Bears. Two years ago, the Bulldogs fell in a quadruple-OT game in Providence, and last season Brown beat Yale by only one goal to derail their efforts at capturing an NCAA tournament berth.
The four-goal spurt came after a tightly played quarter and a half in which the game was tied on five different occasions. Goals from Kenworthy, Marcus Ruopp ’06, Ryan Floyd ’03, Dave Schecter ’06, and Scaglione enabled Yale to fight back from several one-goal deficits early in the game.
After Brown’s Brian Miller scored on an outside shot with 6:30 remaining in the first half to tie the game at five apiece, Kallaugher won the first of several consecutive faceoffs to begin Yale’s offensive explosion.
“It was huge,” Scaglione said of the run. “That was the turning point of the game right there, and it showed how explosive our offense can be.”
Patrick Moylan ’03 fed the ball to Britt, whose low bouncer from outside beat Levin at an awkward height and began a series of four scores within a minute for the Elis, all of which started with faceoff wins.
“Probably the biggest difference in our program right now is the ability to win the faceoff at any given time,” Delia said.
Kenworthy recorded his second goal of the game off another assist by Moylan shortly afterwards on a quick turnaround goal with good placement on Levin, and Britt increased Yale’s lead to 8-5 with an unassisted goal.
“We definitely shot better than we have been,” Kenworthy said. “Out of the other games we played we didn’t come out and score many goals in the first half and that really put a lot of pressure in the defense. Today we got out of the gates fast.”
The spurt was completed at 5:08 when Floyd hit Scaglione for another outside score that gave Yale the commanding four-goal lead they would never relinquish.
In the second half, the Elis responded quickly each time the Bears attempted to mount a comeback, and Yale goaltender Roy Skeen ’04, with an outstanding 18-save performance, kept the Bears’ offense relatively quiet.
“Roy came up big with a couple of key saves, which is the difference between winning and losing,” Scaglione said. “When he gets big saves like that it excites our team and deflates [the opposition].”
One bright spot for the Bears was the play of Chris Mucciolo, whose quick and precise off-ball movement set him up for a number of open looks right on the Yale crease. Mucciolo finished the game with four goals for Brown.
With Yale leading 12-7 at the start of the fourth period, Skeen, after having stuffed Thompson on the crease, ran out of the net to retrieve a long ball. In the ensuing play, he was stripped, giving Brown an open net and the opportunity to climb back into the game.
But displaying poise and quick reflexes, defenseman Brad Liff ’03 ran into the goal and stopped Brown’s shot.
“He stood in and took it like a man,” Delia said. “I think he cringed when he took it, but he definitely stepped up in the cage for us.”
The play was just one of many big stops by the Yale defense throughout the game, including a number of interceptions in front of the Eli net, many of them from defenseman Todd Montgomery ’04. In addition, Delia praised the play of Ned Smith ’03 and Brian Mulholland ’05, saying he liked the matchup of Mulholland and Mucciono.
“The defense just played great team defense today,” Scaglione said. “They knocked down a lot of passes and played very aggressive which is what our defense has to do to play successfully.”
The Bulldogs hope to extend their momentum this weekend with a non-league contest against Lehigh on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Soccer-Lacrosse Stadium.
“If we just keep the pressure on them from the opening whistle we should be able to produce goals,” Kenworthy said.