The men’s lacrosse team dropped a disappointing game in its final Ivy League contest Sunday, falling to the University of Pennsylvania 10-7 in Philadelphia.
It was a big win for the Quakers, who had a disappointing season and were able to grab the win in their last game of the season at home. Two Penn seniors, John Walsh and Alex Kopicki, notched goals in their final games as Quakers at Yale’s expense.
Most damaging to the Elis was their trouble clearing the ball from the defensive zone up the field. While Penn was successful on 24 of their 28 clearing attempts, the Elis converted just 20 of 33, turning over the ball to the Quakers and allowing them to possess the ball for far longer than they might have otherwise.
“Our defense did a poor job of clearing the ball,” defenseman Brad Liff ’03 said. “It put the offense in a position where they were forced to be more aggressive which led to some turnovers.”
Meanwhile, the Quakers were able to maintain the ball well, limiting Yale’s scoring chances.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-1 lead with 4:21 to play in the first quarter. Ned Britt ’04 opened scoring with his 27th goal of the season, an unassisted score, and Ryan Floyd ’03 and Scott Kenworthy ’04 recording goals after Penn’s Ethan Haire tallied to put Penn on the scoreboard.
But a four-goal run from Penn, including a goal with only 26 seconds left in the first quarter, erased Yale’s lead and gave the Elis a 5-3 deficit midway through the quarter.
“They scored four in a row, but it wasn’t like we were playing that badly or doing anything wrong,” said Britt. “They just seemed to do everything right for a bit.”
Yale’s Marcus Ruopp ’06, off a feed from Seth Goldberg ’05, brought the Bulldogs to within one with 2:35 to play before halftime, but it was the closest they would come for the rest of the game.
The Elis entered halftime trailing 6-4 and played a strong defensive third quarter in which they held Penn scoreless, but a late breakdown led to a Penn goal with 15 seconds remaining in the third.
“Penn did a really good job of controlling the ball,” Britt said. “After the first quarter, it felt like we never touched it at all.”
Britt’s second goal of the game early in the fourth quarter gave the Elis the chance to climb back into the game, but the Quakers silenced them, scoring twice in 26 seconds to widen the deficit to 10-5.
Goldberg’s 21st of the season, followed by Kenworthy’s 18th on a man-up score, narrowed the Quaker lead to three, but there was less than 30 seconds remaining on the clock and Penn closed out the game and the victory.
Despite the disappointment, the Bulldogs have a chance to end the season on a high note when they travel to West Point this weekend to play No. 16 Army. With its 8-0 win against Lafayette last night, Army has earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament for the Patriot League. Jeff Bryan, with 10 goals and 39 assists, leads all Cadets with 49 points, while John Walker is the team’s leading goal scorer with 28 tallies.
“The defense has to play smart and aggressive and do a better job of getting the ball to the offense on clears against Army,” Liff said. “The offense has to maintain control of the ball and take good shots. This is how we have won all of our game and it is what we need to do to beat Army.”