They may be New Haven neighbors and share Saturday nights at Toad’s, but the men’s lacrosse team did not show Quinnipiac any mercy last night.
In the 13-3 rout of the Bobcats at Johnson Field, the Elis (3-1, 1-0 Ivy) produced a high level of offense while using a blanketing defense to limit the Bobcats’ scoring.
Attacker Colin Neville ’06, one of eight Elis to hit the net, started the scoring for the Bulldogs less than two minutes into the first quarter and continued to lead the offensive firestorm, finishing with four goals. Meanwhile, fellow attacker Chris Kempner ’07 chipped in with a hat trick. On the other side of the field, captain DJ Barry ’05 steadied a defense that was able to sit back a little, forcing the Bobcats to pass around the perimeter to little effect. Because of the tough defense, starting goalie George Carafides ’08 only had to make six saves while allowing just two goals.
The Bobcats, however, forced the Elis to make a few mistakes. Several times throughout the game, particularly in the first and third quarters, the Bobcats put pressure on the Elis and disrupted their offensive system. Head coach Andy Shay said although the Elis had to make some adaptations throughout the game, he was happy with the team’s performance.
“[The Bobcats] made it tough to get our flow, and they pushed out,” Shay said. “They kept trying to take the ball away and disrupted our flow. In the end we scored transition goals because of that. The way they wanted to play made us attack with our poles, and it was a feast or famine offense.”
The game started out somewhat more slowly than desired for the Elis. After a while, though, the offense got the ball moving well, allowing the Bulldogs to put points on the scoreboard.
“We really executed our first couple of transitions well,” attacker Chris Kempner ’07 said. “A lot of quick moves and dodging helped create space.”
After the Bobcats knotted the score at one, the Elis exploited their speed to quickly clear the ball and get shots on the cage. Neville scored the first goal in retaliation by snatching the ball out of the air in the middle of a scrum and slipping it past Quinnipiac’s netminder James Nastro. The tally marked the first of eight unanswered goals by the Elis, a run that lasted into the second half.
Attacker Dan Brillman ’06 played a big role during the Elis offensive blitz, assisting two goals while scoring one of his own — on a clean shot that sailed through a traffic gridlock near the crease and into the right corner of the net. Midfielder Dan Kallaugher ’06 contributed as well by winning eight of nine face-offs in the first half before finishing 10-for-13. Kallaugher also helped the Bulldogs accumulate a 36-19 ground ball advantage.
Neville said the offensive system was running on all cylinders last night, which allowed him to score as much as he did.
“The middies are drawing good slides,” Neville said. “Brillman and Seth [Goldberg ’05] are giving me great looks. Seth usually draws the best defender, which frees me up.”
In the third quarter, the offensive system began to falter when faced with a scrappy Bobcat squad.
“We didn’t prepare for their aggressive shutoff in the third,” Kempner said. “Once we went back to our system, things started working again.”
One of the factors that helped the offense settle down was the strong defense.
“The defense played great,” Kempner said. “The short sticks sat down and played good. They didn’t slide.”
Barry said the defense did not have to slide because of the Elis’ superior athleticism.
“We felt we were talented enough to play them straight out,” Barry said. “We had a slide package ready, but we didn’t need it. We pressured them and out-hustled them.”