Driving up to Albany, playing a night game, and then driving home is a long day. But a loss makes the day seem even longer.

The men’s lacrosse team (5-6, 1-3 Ivy) fell to Albany (5-5) last night at John Fallon Field in upstate New York, 7-5. After last Saturday’s win over Brown, the Bulldogs were unable to keep up their momentum. On top of that, Yale could not extend its winning streak of four games against the Great Danes.

While the Eli defense stepped it up, allowing only seven goals, the Bulldogs offense had an off day.

“[Goaltender] George [Carafides ’08] was the star of our success,” defenseman Gray Eklund ’06 said. “We played pretty well against a good offense. All the success of the defense was George.”

Attackman Chris Kempner ’07 scored the first goal of the game, which was followed by an Albany goal. Yale responded when attackman Tyler Casertano ’08 fed the ball to Kempner, who hit the net for Yale’s second goal with 6:42 remaining in the first quarter. But after that, the Elis were prevented from scoring the rest of the quarter. At the end of the first quarter the Elis trailed the Great Danes, 3-2.

Neither team was able to hit the net in the second quarter until rookie Michael Karwoski ’09 scored to tie the game before the break. Overall, the Great Danes outshot the Bulldogs, 24-22, in the first half, largely because of their 15 shots in the first quarter.

Casertano said the attack struggled coming out of the gates.

“Our defense played fantastic and our offense could not help them out at all,” he said.

Dan Kallaugher ’06, ranked third in the nation in faceoff win percentage, had an off-day himself. Kallaugher won only five of the fifteen faceoffs and grabbed only one ground ball.

Despite his struggles in the faceoff circle, Kallaugher said the offense had opportunities but could not finish them. This let the Great Danes take a two-score lead in the third quarter, when they came out strong. Midfielder David Schecter ’06 hit the net with 3:39 remaining, but Albany responded with another goal to increase its lead to 6-4.

Yale’s defense, considered a weak spot last year, stepped it up in this game and during the season as a whole. Kallaugher said individual defenders have improved and have come together as a cohesive unit.

While Yale’s offense was unable to perform as well as it could have, the Elis will have the opportunity to put it all together when they face Dartmouth (4-5, 0-1) next week.

“It’s finding the consistency in the offense,” Kallaugher said. “You learn from your mistakes and fix them.”

The Elis turn their focus towards the Big Green, whom they face next Wednesday in Hanover, N.H. Dartmouth defeated Albany, 12-9, less than a month ago, so the Bulldogs have their work cut out for them. Eklund said the Big Green have three strong returning attackmen to watch out for. Yale’s defense will need to bring its confidence from the Albany game, coupled with a strong offensive performance to take down Dartmouth.

“They are a very good offensive team,” Casertano said. “In the next few days, our coaches will design a game plan to exploit their weakness.”