In a game with six ties, three lead changes and numerous narrow misses on goal, the Brown men’s lacrosse team snuck past Yale to deal the Elis another league loss.
The Bulldogs (4-4, 0-4 Ivy) dropped a close one to the Bears (6-3, 1-1) in Providence on Saturday, falling, 10-9, with a goal in the final two minutes of the game. The loss will prevent the Elis from moving out of last place in the Ivy standings, a disappointing result after a promising start to the season.
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“We played a solid game, but definitely not anywhere near our potential,” midfielder Jonathan Koenig ’08 said. “We were not necessarily favored for Saturday’s game, but we definitely felt that we were a better team coming into it.”
In the opening quarter, the Elis broke through first with an unassisted goal by captain Chris Kempner ’07 at 4:27. Attacker Kyle Washabaugh ’08 made it 2-0 several minutes later, but the Bears’ Zach Caldwell returned the favor, igniting a back-and-forth struggle for the rest of the period. When the dust settled, the score was tied, 3-3.
The second period was characterized by similar play, as Brendan Gibson’s ’10 two goals were answered by Brown’s Kyle Hollingsworth, evening the score with six minutes remaining. Then midfielder Matt Fuchs ’10 received a feed from Mike Karwoski ’09 at 13:36 and found the back of the net, giving the Bulldogs a slight 6-5 edge heading into the break.
But the Bears came out aggressively in the third, surging past the Elis with three goals in the first seven minutes of the period.
“We were playing well in the first half,” Gibson said. “Then in the second half we just sort of fell apart and lost the hustle that we were playing with in the first.”
The Elis sparked a comeback with a three-goal run of their own that extended into the fourth quarter. Dave Levy ’07, Tyler Casertano ’08 and Kempner each contributed one, which put the squad ahead 9-8 with nine minutes left to play.
But the tide changed less than a minute later. A slashing penalty gave the Bears a man-advantage at 8:18, which they converted into a goal just 20 seconds later to knot the score at 9-9, the sixth tie of the game. Then, with just over two minutes remaining, Brown’s Caldwell received a pass at the top of the box and fired the ball over the left shoulder of goalie George Carafides ’08. The Bulldogs kept the pressure up as the clock ran down, but the last-minute shots of Fuchs and Karwoski went just wide of the pipes, giving Brown the win.
“We didn’t give up,” Koenig said. “They scored the go-ahead goal with two minutes and 20 seconds left, and they could have sat on the ball and won the game, but we fought hard. We got the ball back, and we got one or two opportunities at the end. We just couldn’t connect.”
Both team’s goalies saw a lot of action as the two squads combined for a total of 71 shots. Carafides had 10 saves, while Jordan Burke made 11 stops for the Bears.
And three Yale players — Kempner, Gibson and Washabaugh — had two goals apiece, although the player who truly dominated on offense was Brown’s Caldwell. The freshman had scored just three times prior to Saturday’s five-goal outing, in which he helped spark two Brown comebacks and notched the game winner.
“We have to give him credit for playing a great game,” Kempner said. “Before that, we knew who he was, but we actually keyed on a few other Brown players more than him in practice.”
The Elis have a two-game hiatus from Ivy League play coming up, but they will not get a break, as they face No. 2 Albany (9-0) at Reese Stadium on Wednesday. When they met last year in upstate New York, the Great Danes pulled out a close 7-5 victory in a hard-fought game.
“We played them really close last year and they are relatively the same team,” Kempner said. “If we execute and play hard hopefully we’ll make it a close game and pull out a win.”